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Structure and Function (modified PLTW unit)


* This unit is an adaptation of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Kindergarten Curriculum.  PLTW, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that develops STEM curricula for US schools.  The source material is copyrighted and schools or districts are required to pay an annual participation fee and agree to the implementation terms of use.  With this in mind, only the adaptations will be explored in this unit document and it is intended to be used only to supplement the purchased PLTW resource.

The Project Lead the Way model uses ebook stories to introduce an engineering problem for students to solve.  Students then work through a series of hands-on challenges as they learn the unit concepts, such as the design process and key terms such as “structure” and “function”.  This unit’s activities include:

1 - Design and build a beanstalk that can support a small object, inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk.

2 - Design and build a straw (toothpick), stick (popsicle stick) or brick (clay) house that can withstand the wind current from a wolf (a strong fan), inspired by The Three Little PIgs.

3 - Design and build a new a new kind of paintbrush.


Learning Targets: 
Students will gain an understanding of the design process.
Students will know key terms such as structure, function, brainstorm, design, design process, engineer, and model.
Patrick McEneany
Content Area: 
Resource Type: 
Creative Commons Licence
Next Generation and Michigan Science