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Design For Disaster Relief

Grade Level Grades 6-8
Resource Type Activity, Handout
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards


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Hurricanes, flash floods, superstorms. Climate change is bringing more extreme weather, and the results can be catastrophic to our communities. As weather becomes more severe around the globe, there is an increased need for reusable shelters that can be easily transported and assembled to provide relief shelter for families who have been displaced from their homes.

In this activity, you will: 

  • Use design thinking to develop a lightweight, flat-folding, structurally-sound shelter for families displaced by natural disasters.
  • Incorporate geometric shapes that add strength to structures in your design.
  • Practice scaling up your design and converting between metric and U.S. customary systems of measurement.

Share your creations with Science Friday on Twitter or Facebook @SciFri- with the hashtag #DesignAShelter!

Teachers, you can find the full resource on Science Friday's website by clicking here.




February 13, 2020
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Engineering-Student-Notebook-1 (1).pptx

February 10, 2020
0.3 MB
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February 13, 2020
0.1 MB
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Understand the concept of a unit rate 𝑎/𝑏 associated with a ratio 𝑎:𝑏 with 𝑏 ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship.
Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


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