Storm the Castle

“Storm the Castle” is an exercise in engineering problem solving that’s loads of fun for children of all ages. Students take on the role of “besieging armies”, designing siege engines capable of launching “boulders” (ping pong balls) into the defending castle, earning points depending on where the balls land. They also design a device to retrieve containers of boulders from the “quarry”.

The Panamax Challenge

This module is an alternative version of The Great Boat Float Challenge, which may be more satisfying for older students — third grade and up — than simply building a boat to hold as much weight as possible. Students consider the real-world problem that marine engineers and naval architects face when designing ships to pass through the Panama Canal. “Panamax” refers to the maximum allowable dimensions for those ships. This is a good activity for teams of two students.