Materials List: Race to the Top!
Modeling Skyscrapers

Each group needs:

  • 75 Kapla® blocks; classroom sets of these reusable construction plank blocks are available from, such as a 200-block set for $60 and a 1,000-block set for $300, ~30¢ per block; also see
  • stable chairs, for students to stand on
  • Pre-Activity Quiz, one per student
  • Race to the Top! Worksheet, one per student
  • Post-Activity Quiz, one per student
    A line drawing shows eight long, plank-shaped blocks in a 2 x 4 stack taped together around its center middle to form one larger block.
    Figure 1. Schematic of test weight made from eight Kapla blocks and tape.
    Copyright © 2015 Elementary MESA Day Competition, University of California Davis

To share with the entire class:

  • test weight, made of eight Kapla® blocks held together with masking tape (see Figure 1)
  • tape measure or meter stick