What is the Engineering Extravaganza Family Science Night?

A Family Science Night is an evening event in which students and their families engage in science learning opportunities together. In the Engineering Extravaganza, students and their families move from station to station, engaging in different engineering activities together.

It is an exciting opportunity to increase student learning and build family engagement in science.

The Kit

The Engineering Extravaganza Kit contains almost everything a school needs to run the event, including banners, materials for a registration table, and materials for 11 different activities.

The activities for the Engineering Extravaganza were developed by OUSD teachers and many are extensions of existing FOSS activities. The activities are designed to be engaging to participants of all ages.

The 11 activities available in the Engineering Extravaganza Kit are:

#1 Tops

How can you make a top that stays spinning the longest? In this activity, participants construct spinning tops out of plastic straws and different-sized disks. They battle head-to-head in the table-top arena.

#2 Dowels

How can you make a big, strong structure out of newspaper? Participants make dowels by rolling newspaper sheets into long tubes, and then use these paper dowels construct towers on the floor.

#3 Catapults

How can you make a catapult that throws the farthest? In this activity, participants build a catapult with a plastic spoon, ruler, and rubber band. They launch “ammunition” such as a cotton and aluminum balls.

#4 Parachutes

How can you make a parachute that falls the slowest? In this activity, participants construct a parachute out of a paper coffee filter and string and then test them to see how slowly they fall.

#5 Boxes

How can you make a box? In this activity, participants make their own paper boxes. First, they use a real box as a model, by taking it apart and tracing it. Then they try to make a second box without a pattern.

#6 Recycling by Hand, with Tools

How can you use different sorting tools to sort a “trash” mixture so that the materials can be recycled, composted or reused?

#7 Marble Run

How can you keep a marble on the wall the longest? Participants tape tubes and ramps to a wall, creating a track for a marble to roll. They modify their marble runs to keep the marble on the wall the longest.

#8 Earthquake Engineering

How can you build a skyscraper that withstands an earthquake? Participants use blocks and cardboard to build model skyscrapers and then test them on a shake table, modeling an earthquake.

#9 Cars and Ramps

How can you make a car roll different ways? (Wobble? Skip? Turn a corner?) Participants build model “cars” out of plastic straws and disks and test them on ramps with different surfaces.

#10 Circuits

How can you make a circuit that turns on a motor? In this activity, participants build a simple circuit with a motor, wire, and battery. Then they choose challenge activities, such as powering multiple motors at once.

#11 Building a City

How can we work together to make a Lego city? In this simple activity designed for young children, participants construct buildings out of Duplo (Lego) blocks and build a city over the course of the event.

To reserve the Engineering Extravaganza Kit at your site, the Science Lead Teacher or Principal can complete this online reservation form.


See Reservations Calendar for available dates.

EE Reservations Calendar Public 2017-18
Event Organizer Planning Guide.pdf

For information on how to organize an Engineering Extravaganza Family Science Night at your site, read the Organizer's Guide, or click here to see all of the Engineering Extravaganza on Google Drive.