Materials List: Obi-Wan Adobe:
Engineering for Strength

Each group needs:

  • 1 adobe mold and extruder (see below)
  • 10 paper Dixie cups (5 oz or ~150 ml) of clayey soil (potting soil will not work)
  • 10 paper Dixie cups (5 oz or ~150 ml) of playground sand
  • 1/2 gallon (2.2 l) container of fibrous material, loosely packed (dead grass, straw, pine needles, etc.)
  • 3 one-gallon (4.4 l) plastic bags, to separately hold the soil, sand, and fibrous material
  • 1 large (24 oz or ~700 ml) container (bowl, re-usable plastic, or gallon jug with the top cut off)
  • 1 piece of cardboard, 16-in x 16-in (~ 40 cm x 40 cm)
  • 1 container of water, ~16 oz (500 ml)
  • 1 paper Dixie cup (5 oz or ~150 ml) for measuring
  • 1 permanent marker
  • Design Worksheet, one per student
  • (optional) Pre/Post Quiz, two per student

For teacher to make adobe molds and extruders (one set per group):

  • wooden board, 16-in x 1-in x 2-in (41 cm x 2.5 cm x 5 cm), to make an adobe mold (cut into 4 boards that are 4-in [10 cm] long)
  • foam core board, 4-in x 6-in (10 cm x 16 cm), for the extruder
  • foam core board scrap, to make a handle for the extruder
  • eight 2-in nails per mold
  • hammer
  • hand saw
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks

For the entire class to share:

  • meter or yard stick
  • projector to show two Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to the class
  • (optional) disposable gloves
  • (optional) newspaper or butcher paper to cover work surfaces
  • (optional) box or desk fan, to aid in brick drying
  • (optional) small step ladder, for standing on when drop testing bricks