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Three Little Pigs

Which little pig built the strongest house? Build castles using sand, dirt, glue and water to find out which materials are strongest and safest from weather.

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Plan

  • Do you want to do this Adventure indoors, outdoors or at camp? Where will you have sand and dirt to use?
  • Doing the Adventure outside on pavement, grass, or a tarp will make cleanup easier.
  • Some of your buildings may need extra time to dry. When will you have your build phase? Your test phase?
  • What kinds of materials are used to make buildings?
  • What kinds of things do engineers have to think about when designing buildings?
  • Why do you think engineers use different materials for different projects?
  • What materials will you use to make your buildings?
  • Do you want to do this Adventure alone or in pairs?

Do

Activity #1: Build it!

  • Mix glue, sand, dirt, gravel and water to make different building materials.
  • Make two houses out of each material.
  • Set any buildings using glue aside to dry.

Activity #2: Test it!

  • Before you start your tests, make sure any buildings using glue are completely dry.
  • Which building holds up best under rain? What happens to the building under the rain?
  • Which building holds up best against wind?
  • Which building is the strongest? What if something drops on it?

Review

  • What do you know now that you did not know before?
  • How did you work together to build your houses?
  • Which house was the best? How do you know it was the best?
  • What shapes were the strongest?
  • How could you use what you learned at camp?

Materials

For each builder/pair of builders:

  • 6-8 bathroom-sized paper cups (“Dixie” cups)
  • 1 small bowl for mixing ingredients
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Plastic spoons (about teaspoon-sized)

For everyone:

  • Access to sand, dirt and gravel
  • Markers or crayons
  • Watering can
  • Hair dryer
  • Books and bricks to test the strength of the houses
  • 1 can of non-stick cooking spray
  • Safety glasses

Keep it Simple

  • Try building three houses out of the materials that the three little pigs used! Build one house using straw (or hay), one using sticks and one using stones! Is there a way that you can make a sturdy house using straw?

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