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Building Basics

from Cleveland Museum of Art

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Buildings are everywhere, from strong towering skyscrapers to precarious footbridges. But how do they work, and what keeps them standing? Students in this program will explore the structural properties and geometry of buildings through artwork from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection. They will be asked to get involved in discussion of the structures examined and will even have the exciting chance to engineer their own mini-structure with paper.

Program Rating

   based on 14 evaluation(s).

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About This Program


By Request: $145.00
By Request Premium: $130.00

Purchase orders are due within 10 days of registration. Payment is due in full within 30 days of receiving the invoice. Invoices are sent upon program completion.


45-60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 5, 6, 7, 8

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Fine Arts, Mathematics, Sciences

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

Booking Information

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Programs are non-refundable, however cancellations due to technical difficulties, school closings, or those received 48 hours in advance may be rescheduled for no additional charge. Rescheduling is subject to availability.

About This Provider

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Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland, Ohio
United States

Virtual Learning at The Cleveland Museum of Art allows classes to connect with the CMA and enrich their studies of history, language arts, science, math and the visual arts through our collection of art and artifacts from around the world. Through live, interactive videoconferencing, students participate in conversations with museum educators that are two-way and fully interactive. Programs are designed for grades K-12 and are aligned with ODE academic standards.

Hajnal Eppley

Program Details


1. Introduce the idea of looking at structures and understanding how they stand up.
2. Discussion of bridges and beams, and overview Newton’s laws of motion and gravity.
3. View and discuss artworks with depictions of columns and arches in buildings and bridges.
4. Introduce the geometry of trusses and view artworks, including images of the Eiffel Tower.
5. View depictions of domes, rib vaults, and folded plate construction.
6. Practice identifying the different types of structures in various artworks.
7. Building interactivity with students working in groups – using paper and tape to create a weight-bearing structure of their own.


1. Students will learn common geometric features seen in architecture.
2. Students will understand the basic physics involved in architecture.
3. Students will learn the engineering principle of the “folded plate.”
4. Students will learn the construction techniques that engineers use to stabilize a structure.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

All programs are aligned with the National Education Standards, Ohio Department of Education Academic Standards, and New York State Learning Standards.