Science and Art Activity
Students design a skyscraper and indicate the inventions, features, and
materials that they would include.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Reference materials about skyscrapers
- Drawing materials
WHAT TO DO
- Have students study photographs of skyscrapers and share their feelings
about and experiences with such buildings. Get the discussion going with such
- Have you ever been in a skyscraper?
- How tall was it?
- How high up did you go?
- What did you like most about the skyscraper? What didn't you like?
- Would you like to work in such a building? Why or why not?
- What would be the advantages of working in a skyscraper? The disadvantages?
- Tell students that they are going to design their own skyscraper. Divide
students into design teams that include a mix of interests and abilities.
- Suggest that the design teams make lists of what their building should have,
referring to reference works for information. Their list should include
essential structural elements, such as elevators, electrical wiring, plumbing, steel girders,
communication systems, air-ducts, and so forth. They might also make a
list of the best features of skyscrapers and include those, then make a list of
the worst features and consider ways of offsetting those problems. These might
include such issues as parking, transportation, and safety.
- The final design should be presented in the form of a cutaway diagram with
both interior and exterior features labeled. Have a spokesperson from each team
make an oral presentation of its design.
Invite an architect or designer to speak to the class about skyscrapers. Have students prepare a list of questions to ask. If possible, have the
speaker comment on students' designs.
Have students hold a debate about skyscrapers. One team might take the position
that skyscrapers are good for their city (or a nearby metropolis), while the
other argues the opposite.
Suggest that students research other tall structures in various civilizations
to learn their purposes and functions. They can share what they learn in either
a written or oral presentation.
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