Share it! Science : Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges

Friday, May 5, 2017

Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges

I love art made from natural objects. Engineering challenges are a great open-ended way for kids to be creative and stretch their thinking. Let's combine both of these ideas into an outdoor STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) project.
Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges

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The overarching idea of these engineering challenges will to be to build a sculpture using only natural items. Just as a professional engineer goes through the engineering process, so will the kids while they sculpt. They will define the problem, or challenge, identify any requirements or limitations on materials, brainstorm a solution, build their prototype and test it to see if it solves the problem. They will redesign their sculpture as necessary.

Here are some nature sculpture engineering challenge ideas:
  • Design and build a sculpture made of round rocks, stacked at least 4 rocks high.
    Nature sculpture engineering challenges for kids!
  • Design and build a sculpture that can hold water.
  • Design and build a sculpture that is an inverted pyramid- where the small stones are on the bottom and the large ones on the top! 
Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges STEAM
  • Design and build a woven sculpture.
  • Design and build a sculpture made of leaves.
Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges STEAM
  • Design and build a wall either of sticks or rocks that is sturdy enough for you to sit on.
  • Design and build a tower made of sticks that can hold a rock the size of your fist on top.
Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges STEAM
  • Design and build a sturdy log cabin structure. 
  • Design and build a sturdy tee-pee shaped structure.
Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges STEAM

Here are some other great Outdoor STEAM activities to try: 

 

Watermelon Seed Spitting Measurement from Schooling a Monkey
Dry Ice Film Canister Rockets from Science Kiddo
Simple Ways to Take STEAM Outdoors from Little Bins for Little Hands

Outdoor STEAM Projects for Kids





Nature Sculpture Engineering Challenges for Kids!

2 comments:

  1. This is exactly what I needed to come across for my Gr 3 STEAM proj around rocks and minerals. Have you seen the artist Del Geist?? He does sculptures all around the world like these ones your students have created! There was big controversy over the one in Calgary, Alberta recently. Check it out :) And thank you!

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    1. Hi Shawna, I'm so glad that you found this post! I have heard of Del Geist before, but will have to look into that further. If you end up taking any pictures of your students sculptures, I'd love to see them!

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