25 4th Grade Engineering Projects to Get Students Engaged


Engineering projects are an excellent way for students to learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills, understand the engineering design process, and think creatively. Here are 25 engaging 4th-grade engineering projects that will get your students excited about learning and applying their skills.

1. Build a Bridge:

Using materials like toothpicks, popsicle sticks, or paper, challenge students to create the longest or strongest bridge possible.

2. Egg Drop Challenge:

Encourage students to design a protective container for an egg that will keep it intact when dropped from a specific height.

3. Balloon Powered Car:

Design and construct cars using balloons as the primary source of propulsion.

4. Solar Oven:

Construct a simple solar oven using a pizza box and aluminum foil to cook a tasty treat.

5. Marble Maze:

Create mazes out of cardboard or foam board to test pupils’ ability to navigate marbles through different challenges.

6. Wind Turbines:

Craft miniature wind turbines using cardboard, paper cups, straws, or other materials to explore renewable energy concepts.

7. Catapults & Trebuchets:

Construct small-scale catapults and trebuchets using rubber bands, dowels rods, or pencils to explore the science of gravity and kinetics.

8. Simple Machines:

Demonstrate how simple machines work by constructing levers, pulleys, inclined planes, wheels, and axles from everyday materials.

9. Water Filtration System:

Design and build water filtration systems using sand, gravel, activated charcoal, coffee filters, and other items to purify water samples.

10. Earthquake-Proof Structure:

Make structures that can withstand simulated earthquakes by designing bases made from flexible materials.

11. Parachute Drop:

Create miniature parachutes out of plastic bags or fabric that will safely bring toy soldiers or action figures back to Earth after being dropped from a height.

12. Hydraulic Lift:

Develop a hydraulic lift by constructing systems that utilize plastic syringes, tubing, and simple levers.

13. Rube Goldberg Machine:

Design elaborate chain-reaction machines with various materials to execute a simple task.

14. Build a Robot Hand:

Create functional robotic hands using cardboard, straws, strings, or 3D printed materials.

15. DIY Musical Instruments:

Construct musical instruments like guitars, drums, or maracas using recycled materials.

16. Paper Circuits:

Explore basic electronics by creating paper cards with embedded circuits using conductive tape, LEDs, and batteries.

17. Boat Buoyancy Testing:

Design and build boats from foil or recycled materials to test weight limits and buoyancy principles.

18. DIY Spectrometer:

Assemble simple spectrometers to explore the world of light wavelengths and colors.

19. Sound Wave Exploration:

Learn about sound waves by constructing homemade mini-amplifiers or stethoscopes from cardboard tubes and balloons.

20. Magnetic Levitation:

Experiment with magnets, arranging them to create magnetic levitation by suspending objects in midair without support.

21. UV Detection Bracelets:

Create UV-sensitive bracelets that change color when exposed to sunlight to learn about ultraviolet rays’ effects on skin.

22. Grow Your Own Crystals:

Perform crystal-growing experiments using household items such as sugar, salt, or Epsom salts to explore the science behind geology.

23. Biodomes:

Design miniature biodomes constructed from soda bottles or jars to illustrate how ecosystems work.

24. Veggie-Powered Batteries:

Generate electricity using vegetables like potatoes or lemons while learning about batteries and energy conversion processes.

25. Spaghetti Tower Challenge:

Construct towers from spaghetti strands and marshmallows to test their weight-bearing capacity while understanding.

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