Design Challenge CardChallenge 3: The Disappearing Beach
grade grade
Criteria: The coastal erosion prevention system should be able to sustain simulated waves that will increase in intensity over 30 seconds. The coastal erosion prevention system should protect the beach landscape, plant and animal habitats, and man-made construction along the beach/coastline during a storm surge.
Constraints: Teams may choose no more than three different materials (not including tape) to build the system. Teams will have 45 minutes to build the coastal erosion prevention system. Each team will have 3–5 minutes to present and test their creations.
The Disappearing Beach
How can we slow down coastal erosion?
Key Question
Sandy beaches along the coast are popular
recreational areas for coastal residents and visitors.
Beachgoers enjoy playing in the sand, surfing,
and splashing in the waves. Coastal grasses and
vegetation are home for many animals. Sandy
beaches are used as nesting grounds by sea turtles
and other small organisms. However, the beaches
need our help! Extensive man-made construction
and development and weather phenomena, such as
storm surges and erosion, are causing our coastline
to disappear (“Coastal Erosion,” 2016). According to
The Texas General Land Office, the average erosion
rate for the 367 miles of Texas coast is 4.1 feet per
year (“Coastal Erosion,” n.d.). The beach is part of our
world, and it needs your help now!
As a group of scientists and coastal engineers, develop
a plan and build a system that can slow down the
process of coastal erosion caused by wind and water,
while preserving the natural beach landscape, animal
and plant habitats, and man-made construction.
Design Challenge
© 2019 Region 4 Education Service CenterSTEMulating Design Challenges in Science, Grades 3–5
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