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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 2
  2. Science and Technology
  3. Activities
  4. Designing and making a model of a tower
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Designing and making a model of a tower

There are no Work Samples available for this Activity.

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:

Designing and Making, The Made Environment

Description of activity

Students follow a design brief to design and make a model of a tower using drinking straws and other materials.


  1. Students test different methods of joining drinking straws.
  2. They determine the purpose of their tower.
  3. Students draw and label their tower design, describing the joining methods used.
  4. They make a model of their tower using drinking straws and other materials.
  5. Students evaluate their design in terms of the design brief and describe any modifications they would make to improve their design.

Based on an activity developed by Curriculum Corporation

Suggested Materials

Drinking straws of two different widths (with one size able to fit snugly inside the other), pipe cleaners, masking tape, string, scissors, rulers, cardboard, wire-cutters or pliers and marbles.

Prior Learning

Students are familiar with 2D and 3D shapes, including rigid and non-rigid shapes. They are able to use centimetres to measure things and to work to a specified design brief. Students have created and annotated designs using drawings and text. They have viewed illustrations of different towers and discussed some structural and aesthetic design elements.

Built Environments (BES 2.1)
Creates, models and evaluates built environments, reflecting consideration of functional and aesthetic factors.
Designing and Making (DMS 2.8)
Develops, implements and evaluates ideas using drawings, models and prototypes at appropriate stages of the design process.
Using Technology (UTS 2.9)
Selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources with developing skill to enhance investigation and design tasks.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • convey ideas in an annotated design
  • choose appropriate materials and joining methods
  • evaluate their design according to the design brief
  • suggest modifications to improve their design.

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