STEM Club: Newspaper Towers & Skyscrapers

Engineering is one of the fastest growing industries in the world!  My children have always had an interest in engineering fields.  I thereby put together a unit study to provide them with hands-on engineering experiences.

I am delighted to share these activities with you so that you may teach engineering concepts to your children and build on their natural curiosity through hands-on learning.

newspaper towers

Throughout the unit, I shared with the class examples of skyscrapers and engineering marvels around the world.  Students were asked to create graphs and to research a skyscraper of their choice to present to the class.

One of the lessons in the unit involves building structures with rolls of newspaper.  In a friendly competition, students worked individually or in pairs to construct the tallest structure possible using only newspaper and masking tape.

Teams then worked collaboratively to build a structure large enough so they could climb inside. The kids absolutely loved this activity and proclaimed it one of their favorite.

newspaper skyscrapersTo culminate the unit study, the class was then given the challenge of building a skyscraper that is capable of withstanding a windstorm.  My kiddos opted to utilize the same building techniques they had explored earlier: rolled newspaper tubes.


Sweetie took the assignment a step farther and employed her brother to help build several skyscrapers, each a scaled model of a real-life skyscraper.  In the photograph above, you can see the Cayan Tower in Dubai and the Trans-America Building in San Francisco under construction.

She plans to use each model in a science inquiry project for Curr-Click and our local homeschool science fair in May. You can read more about her project here, Skyscrapers and Wind Velocity.

Engineering: World's Tallest Buildings Unit Study

The World’s Tallest Buildings is a unit study designed for upper elementary and middle school students that will undoubtedly spark an interest in engineering and design. The projects and activities outlined can be modified for small groups or with individual students. The unit is available for purchase in my store for just $2.95 –  Engineering Marvels: The World’s Tallest Buildings

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

3 comments on “STEM Club: Newspaper Towers & Skyscrapers

  1. Hello, we are planning to use this idea as one of the activities for our family science night next week. Thank you for sharing.

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