Lesson Plan

PVC Pipe, Not Just for Plumbing!

Students will research, design and build an object using PVC pipe.
Mona E.
Technology coordinator
Huntington High School
Huntington, United States
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be able to...

·         conduct an independent research project and choose a design from the information found during their research

·         generate a three-dimensional model of their chosen design using CAD software

·         examine methods and sources for obtaining materials and supplies, and safe practices for the use of tools and equipment

·         create and justify a process for building and testing a prototype design

·         review their testing procedures

·         implement needed modifications to the design

·         create an oral presentation


West Virginia State Standards for PLTW courses: ET.O.IED.6.12, ET.O.EDD.4.3, ET.O.EDD.4.2, ET.O.EDD.5.2, ET.O.EDD.5.3, ET.O.EDD.5.4, ET.O.EDD.5.6, ET.S.EDD.6



Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Presenting

YouTube videos showing designs using PVC pipe.

I chose the following but videos geared toward your students can be used:

PVC Laptop Stand, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCUJw-ZyxLo&safe=active

PVC Ladder for Kids, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAo871IW6bs&safe=active


2 Direct Instruction

Using a laptop and projector, show students the Instructable Website. The site has a massive amount of information. You may want to narrow the presentation to only your topic. I searched for PVC projects. Be aware many pages on the site advertise Mike's Hard drinks. I made screen captures of the projects I wanted and placed them in a One Note Online document so I could share it with my students.

I bought PVC fittings to show the students different types of fittings, their names and uses.

3 Guided Practice


The students are then introduced to the Make:Online website. I show them how to navigate the site for design ideas.

I found a link on Make:Online to Formufit PVC Products site. http://www.formufit.com/trimble-sketchup-downloads/

My students are familiar with the Google (Trimble) SketchUp software and the Formufit site has PVC fitting components that can be downloaded and used in that software. http://www.formufit.com/trimble-sketchup-downloads/

I guide the students through the download process.

I then give students the rubric that will be used to assess the project. They are now ready for independent practice.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

The students are given instruction on the project they are to research, design, build and present:

1. Research ideas for a project you want to design using PVC pipe.

2. Present your design to teacher for approval.

3. Design the project in SketchUp software using the PVC fittings downloaded from The Formufit website. (Teacher note: SketchUp is free and can be downloaded from the following site: http://www.sketchup.com)

4. Build and test a prototype of the design. (Teacher note: this can be done using actual PVC pipe or small construction pieces such as K'Nex. Instruction on the use and safety of the building materials should be covered before construction begins.

5. Modify the design as needed during the testing phase.

6. Create an oral presentation using any software of your choice. The presentation will be given to the class and must include the research, design, testing, and building phases of the project.

5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Assessing

Students give an oral presentation of their project explaining the research, design, testing, and building phases of the project.

The prototype must be shown and demonstrated during presentation.

The presentation is graded using the rubric given to students at the beginning of the assignment.