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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics, Geography, Engineering

Regional Focus

North America, United States


YouTube Video

How to Build a Better Shopping Mall

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  • This video describes how many shopping malls in America are now defunct and offers solutions for revitalizing the land into more useful and green spaces for the surrounding communities. 
  • By describing the original vision for a shopping mall to be multi-use and more like a town square community area for gathering, the narrator is able to convey the opportunities for revitalizing these defunct areas. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students can relate to the idea of shopping spaces and hangout areas, but this video will help them to consider the ideas and design that are behind the spaces in which they spend time. 
  • This video is an interdisciplinary example of how engineering, science, economics, and geography come together to influence the human experience. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • It will be helpful for students to have been to a shopping mall before. Poll your students on shopping mall attendance, and if they aren't familiar, introduce the concept through videos and pictures.


Scientist Notes
This video resource does not have any science to review. However, it is true that the shopping mall is in decline in America, offering up an opportunity to do something new and innovative with their massive footprints. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • Computer Science & Design Thinking
    • Design Thinking
      • 8.2.8.NT.1: Examine a malfunctioning tool, product, or system and propose solutions to the problem.
      • 8.2.12.ED.1: Use research to design and create a product or system that addresses a problem and make modifications based on input from potential consumers.
      • 8.2.12.ED.5: Evaluate the effectiveness of a product or system based on factors that are related to its requirements, specifications, and constraints (e.g., safety, reliability, economic considerations, quality control, environmental concerns, manufacturability, maintenance and repair, ergonomics).
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