Beam STEM Activity for Kids
Explore cross sections, design a beam, and then test the design for strength with a cantilever beam challenge. Here is a snapshot of what this activity looks like:
Engineers need to pick the best design for the application. Different cross sections provide different benefits. Some look like they would be strong, but during testing you will find out which design works best. Wall thickness also plays a part!
Get Started with the STEM ChallengeTry using cardboard tubes and boxes and come up with as many designs as you can. Things to consider and questions to ask:
- How long is the beam?
- How thick should the material be?
- Would another material work better?
- Where does the beam fail?
- Where have you seen a cantilever beam in real life?
- Which are the weakest and strongest beams?
- How much stronger is the strongest beam than the weakest one?
- What could you change to make the strongest beam even stronger?
There are more details for this challenge, including relevant vocabulary, as well as 9 other STEM challenges you can do with your students!