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Feature: Barkitecture

doghouseThe Austin Barkitecture competition calls on local builders to design trendy doghouses, which are then bid on in an auction. Proceeds go to local charitable groups and community members for veterinary care, spay/neuter surgeries, and community outreach.

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Lesson: Construct a Road Sign Support

Overhead Road SignIn this lesson, students in grades 6-12 use simple materials to design, build, and test a model of a free-standing structure used to support overhead road signs. They begin by learning about the engineering design process and researching about support structures. They then work in groups to design and build their own sign supports. The final designs are tested to see how they stand up to two different types of loads.

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Lesson: Winter Insulation

Winter InsulationIn this lesson, students in grades 3 through 8 assume the role of building engineers, testing several materials to determine which would provide the best house insulation. They learn about the role of insulation in preventing heat transfer and discuss the importance of energy conservation in buildings.

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Website: Sustainability Workshop from Autodesk

Autodesk SustainabilityThe Sustainability Workshop video series from Autodesk, an eGFI sponsor, uses animated drawings and real-world examples in short films that explain essential concepts for budding engineers. Some topics include engineering systems, green design, turning an idea into a finished product, and even why modern bicycles look so different from those built 200 years ago.

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In ACE, Imagination Rules

ACE Mentor ProgramThe ACE Mentor Program, which introduces high school students to careers in architecture, construction and engineering, doesn’t think small. At one school, it asks students to design an imaginary museum dedicated to peace. At another, they’ll design a whole high school.

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Feature: High Spire Act

Jonathan FoyleIn Scaling Britain, a new BBC TV program on English engineering and architecture, Jonathan Foyle clambers up iconic buildings to explore such intriguing topics as the physics of flying buttresses, and the materials science of stained glass.

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Engineer’s Week Bridge Building Contest

The Northeast Indiana Engineers Week Committee and the Anthony Wayne Chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers holds their annual Student Bridge Competitions for middle and high school students on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 respectively. Students build a variety of different bridge models, and then their designs are tested by applying weight loads.

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Activity: Gingerbread Architecture


What does a load-bearing wall have to do with holiday treats? Plenty, when the wall is holding up the roof of a gingerbread house. This combination recipe and building activity introduces kids to some of the fundamentals of engineering design and construction, including strength of materials, weight, stress and adhesives.

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