60–90 min.

Project Pipeline

  • Engineering
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
  • Science (Earth)


Encourage your students to role-play different careers and work through the engineering design process as they develop possible solutions to protect Earth’s freshwater supply. Humans, plants and animals need freshwater to survive, so it is crucial that scientists and engineers can devise ways to bring Earth’s limited supply of freshwater to populations that need it. In this lesson, students will create models of freshwater pipelines to simulate the transmission of freshwater from the Colorado River to a town in Southwestern California. They will learn how scientists and engineers work together to protect Earth’s freshwater supply and employ the basic properties of water to create an effective pipeline model.

Content Areas

  • Engineering Design Process
  • Earth Science


  • Identify the properties of water and apply them to a freshwater pipeline simulation
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of their pipeline design
  • Create a solution that factors in global limitations

Grade Levels


Suggested Time

  • 60–90 minutes (1-2 class sessions)