Dayton Regional STEM Center
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200 S. Keowee St. Dayton, OH 45402

Surviving the Storm


In this unit, students will compare the structural integrity of various shapes and materials in designing a temporary shelter.  When the weather turns extreme, homeless shelters can exceed capacity. In an effort to best prepare homeless shelters to support community homeless needs, students will be tasked to design a temporary structure for a single user. Design requirements include transporting, withstanding Ohio’s snow load, low-cost design, and generation of the schematic for mass production. This dwelling must be able to sleep one person and protect them from outside precipitation and wind.  Students must build a scale model on their own, then collaborate with a group to engineer the full-scale design using the actual materials of which the dwelling will be composed.  Students must also show how the kit is packaged and carried by a single person.

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Unit Lesson Plan (PDF)

Student Resources (Word) *

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