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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Farkas

How do structural engineers use math?

Are your upper elementary students curious about how math is used in structural engineering? Engineers use tons of math every day! Elementary math concepts such as geometry and measurement are used every day when building structures.

How is math used in structural engineering?

Show this video to your students which interviews a structural engineer, Fae, who explains to elementary students how she uses math every day!

What are some different ways that my students can practice this in class?

  • Have your students look at different structures and see if they can point out shapes that they see like rectangles, triangles, or circles. Have them wonder how different shapes help the structure and why they were used.

  • Have your students design their own house or room! Help them think through why measurements are important, and what would go into building a structure.

  • Do a design or STEAM challenge where students have to build the tallest structure they can. I love to have students use things like paper, straws, tape, and glue. They have to get creative to create the tower. Have students collaborate with each other, plan, and execute their designs.

  • Have students create their own structural engineering word problems. This can include money, shapes, or measurements! Have them trade with a friend in class.

Do you have any additional resources that could help my students?

Home design area and perimeter clip art set

Where can I find more information on Schaefer, the structural engineering company, shown in the interview?

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Relate math to structural engineering



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