Friday, December 5, 2014

Index Card Towers

Our second STEM activity was a HUGE hit.  These activities are SO fun to watch and the conversations we have about the process are truly amazing.  As with the Marshmallow Challenge, the goal was to create the TALLEST tower possible.  Before I gave each group their materials, we talkeda little.   I wanted them to experience building before we talked a lot about what they were doing. 
Materials:  100 index cards and 24 inches of masking tape
Objective:  Create the tallest structure possible

There are SO many skills being worked on during these lessons.  Kids need to work with one another to express ideas

Thoughts we discussed:
What works about the shape of the Eiffel Tower?
What building traits does Leaning Tower of Pisa have?  Why does it lean?
How can you get your tower to be stable? 
What does a basement do for a house?
What materials are used in building tall structures?  Why?
How does the shape of the base effect the structure?
What shapes are strong?  (a long shape discussion ensued)
How can layering your paper help? 
Do you really need tape?

 Kids kept track of their ideas throughout the entire process.

 You can see our cool timer in the background.  It's FAB!  Kids are able to SEE how much time is left...allowing them to adjust what they are doing.  

The towers were wonderful.  They learned a lot and the second round structures were betterwhich proves how much they learned after round one.  Yahoo!