Lesson: Drum Roll Please

Contributed by: Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Photo shows a young man standing by an easel with a map and a cavern photo on it.
Students present their Asteroid Impact projects
Copyright © (man with easel) Microsoft Corporation, (map) Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, and (cavern) Eric Dodd, National Park Service http://www.nps.gov/jeca/planyourvisit/scenictour.htm


Continuing the Asteroid Impact challenge, student teams analyze their data and commit to recommendations for locating the Alabraska underground shelter caverns. They prepare and make presentations to justify and defend their final decisions to the class.
This engineering curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Engineering Connection

In the real world, engineering teams spend much time researching and analyzing so they have the information needed to select the best design option. Then, communication is critical. Engineers routinely prepare final reports and give presentation to clients and customers to explain and defend their recommended design solutions.

Pre-Req Knowledge

If available, encourage students to use Microsoft PowerPoint to create their presentations. This requires some familiarity with the PowerPoint application.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze data from several days' worth of work to make a final decision.
  • Use experimental data and logic to defend a decision.
  • Communicate via a formal presentation.

More Curriculum Like This

Drum Roll Please

Student teams commit to a final decision on the location they recommend for safe underground cavern shelter for the citizens of Alabraska. They prepare and deliver final presentations to defend their final decisions to the class.

Middle School Activity
Simple Machines and Modern Day Engineering Analogies

Students apply the mechanical advantages and problem-solving capabilities of six types of simple machines (wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw, pulley) as they discuss modern structures in the spirit of the engineers and builders of the great pyramids.

Security System Design

Students apply everything they have learned about light properties and laser technologies to designing, constructing, defining design limitations and presenting laser-based security systems that protect the school's mummified troll. In the associated activity, students "test their mettle" by constru...

Middle School Lesson
Exploring Nondestructive Evaluation Methods

Students learn about nondestructive testing, the use of the finite element method (systems of equations) and real-world impacts, and then conduct mini-activities to apply Maxwell’s equations, generate currents, create magnetic fields and solve a system of equations. They see the value of NDE and FEM...

Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

  • Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. (Grades 6 - 8) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Modeling, testing, evaluating, and modifying are used to transform ideas into practical solutions. (Grades 6 - 8) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Use data collected to analyze and interpret trends in order to identify the positive and negative effects of a technology. (Grades 6 - 8) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Develop and communicate an evidence based scientific explanation around one or more factors that change Earth's surface (Grade 5) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Analyze and interpret data identifying ways Earth's surface is constantly changing through a variety of processes and forces such as plate tectonics, erosion, deposition, solar influences, climate, and human activity (Grade 5) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Gather, analyze, and communicate data that explains Earth's plates, plate motions, and the results of plate motions (Grade 7) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
Suggest an alignment not listed above


You have all worked hard to decide the best place for the cavern. The governor will choose only one location though, and she will base her decision on your presentations!

Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers

Review the report and presentation guidelines with students.

Associated Activities

  • Drum Roll Please - After analysis of their data, student teams commit to their choice of the best cavern-building location(s). They prepare and make presentations to defend their final decisions to the class.



  • Review students' written reports on the worksheets to gauge their ability to synthesize and summarize the data and information.
  • Review student team presentations with a combination of peer and instructor evaluations to gauge their mastery of the concepts.


© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines

Supporting Program

Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines


Adventure Engineering was supported by National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 9950660 and GK-12 0086457. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: June 6, 2017