Eek! It leaks! A lesson for students in grades 3-8

Borrowing heavily on a “Teach Engineering” lesson plan (including their great title) this activity is open-ended and exercises students’ critical thinking skills.

A sanitary landfill is an engineering marvel that protects our groundwater from contaminated waste. Basically, it is a giant bag that doesn’t leak.

In this activity, students are charged with the task of constructing a leak-proof bag using 4 plastic strips and masking tape. The challenge is they are given only a limited amount of tape.

Students work in pairs to design, build, and test their bags. After testing to see where the leaks are, they are issued more tape to use for improving their design.

This process continues until the bag does not leak or until we run out of time. Students then debrief about the difficulties they experienced and what design strategies they used to overcome them.

This activity is almost 100% hands-on and has been popular for science day activities and other classroom type settings.

EEK! can be scaled up or down for grades 3-8. It is not suitable for science fairs.

Contact us or call to schedule a session for your school:

Margaret Lilly, Environmental Representative
6121 North Hanley Road
Berkeley, MO 63134