Civil Engineering Activities
View Elementary School Activities
|Find the Strongest Shape
|Structural design is a key component to strengthening a material and is the reason why delicate objects like eggs can withstand high compressive forces. In this activity, students will explore the effect shapes have on the strength of the material by designing four differently shaped structures out of construction paper and try to support a heavy textbook atop each one. Students can predict which shape will succeed and which will fail then test to see if their predictions were correct and why they were.
|The Dam Challenge
|Decision making is an important part to civil engineers, many factors will have to be taken into account that benefit both people and business. In this activity students will have to weigh out the pros and cons for the future of four different dams to determine what is best for the current situation the dam holds.
|Water Pollution Cleanup
|Water quality is a huge challenge for civil engineers to overcome as polluted water has a huge impact on the environment and our own health. To overcome this, engineers have developed different filtration systems to clean polluted water to be reused. In this activity, students will create their own filtration systems and understand vital components that make an effective filtration system.
|When building a dam, engineers must consider the amount of force in the form of pressure the water is imposing onto the surface of the dam. In this activity, students will understand the pressure distribution caused by water through observing the speed of water exiting a container. From these observations, students will understand critical areas where engineers have to focus on to provide the needed strength of the dam.
View Middle School Activities
|When designing and building, civil engineers have to work through an engineering design process that factors in constraints while meeting specifications. In this activity, students will have to follow this design process to design and build a tower made of straws.
|Structural design is an important part of building that engineering can use to create strong yet lightweight structures. In this activity students will construct different structures out of gumdrops and toothpicks to observe how some design shapes are stronger than others.
|When designing structures, engineers have to take into account the amount of dynamic forces that will be applied to the structure. It is therefore vital for engineers to balance the amount of force that may be applied to the structure with what it can hold. In this activity, students will observe the balancing of forces by creating a mobile where they will need to balance out the objects hung from each spot taking in mind the weight of the object and forces that are pushing them.
|Engineers have to take into account the types of extreme weather buildings may be subjected to. In order to withstand strong winds and earthquakes, engineers have to design a structure that will stay planted when subjected to high forces but will sway to minimize stresses on the structure. In this activity, students will design and build a sculpture then subject it to high winds with a fan to understand what design components will create a strong yet stable structure.
View High School Activities
|Designing an Irrigation System
|Water irrigation has been a vital part to civil engineering for thousands of years with the earliest systems dating back to 6000 BC. Irrigation systems are vital even today to provide water for farming and living. In this activity students will design and build an irrigation system to transport water to areas over a one meter distance.
|Landfill in a Box
|An integral part of engineering is designing and testing over a certain time period.
Through testing engineers are able to observe and troubleshoot any problems that may
arise then report the final findings at the end of the time period. In this activity
students will follow this process by constructing a mock landfill that will be observed
for one year. From this activity students will observe, troubleshoot, plot data, and
report the final findings.
|Part of civil engineering is designing and building structures with a given material that has certain constraints. The goal of an engineer is to design a structure that will optimize the strength from the given material. In this activity, students will design and build a bridge out of uncooked spaghetti then test how much weight it can withstand. From this activity students will understand the importance of structural components that will make a bridge stronger or weaker.