Form and Function


(taken from the “Ontario Curriculum Document”):

In Grade 7, students will continue to learn about the effects of forces that act on and within different structural forms. They will investigate how different structural forms support or withstand loads by designing, building, and testing structures, using increasingly sophisticated techniques. Other factors that affect a structure’s functioning, such as type of structure and centre of gravity, will also be explored.


(taken from the “Ontario Curriculum Document”):

  1. Structures have a purpose.
  2. The form of a structure is dependent on its function.
  3. The interaction between structures and forces is predictable.


GOAL #1: I can define and identify various structures. 

GOAL #2: I can investigate the factors that determine the ability of a structure to support a load (including centre of gravity and symmetry).

GOAL #3: I can investigate the effects of various external and internal forces on structures.

GOAL #4: I can use techniques to make structures stronger.

GOAL #5: I can develop criteria to gauge structural success or failure.

GOAL #6: I can use the principles of ergonomics and universal design when developing everyday structures. 

PROJECT: Roller Coaster Design

The following project will be completed at the end of the unit. Students are to draw on the concepts and skills gained throughout the unit to complete a prototype of a “gravity coaster”. Students will need to bring in a large rectangular piece of styrofoam to act as a base (this can be obtained for FREE at a local furniture store).