Sunday, October 15, 2017

STEM Engineering Challenge #2: Build the Tallest Castle Tower

With only 2 feet of tape (your choice of tape - masking, blue painter's, or scotch,) cardboard scraps, and as many toilet paper tubes as you'd like, can you build the tallest castle tower?


Only two feet of tape? This calls for planning and cooperation!

What can we do with these cardboard scraps?
(Each group could choose three items from the scrap heap.)

We've run out of tape. Now what?

Time to "circle the wagons" and find out what's working and what's not working. 
Any ideas to help make this tower stand straight?

This design has some great ideas. What is working here?

This is an interesting way to give a tower stability.

Ah....we discovered a way to add tubes without using tape. 
Good thing, since this group has run out of tape!

Notice the schedule on the board. 
Fridays are wide open for big projects like this one. 

Time to measure. What should we use to measure with? A measuring tape!
(We always have access to different math tools in the classroom.)

And now, an important step - our STEM lab report.
Unsuccessful attempts are just as important as successful attempts.

As we say in math, 
Mistakes are expected.
Mistakes are respected.
Mistakes are inspected.
Mistakes are corrected.

What was the most difficult part of the challenge?
Arguing (or is it agreeing?)
Students are allowed to suffer through not only the engineering challenge, but also the collaboration challenge. A necessary skill for 21st century jobs!

Differentiation in action
Even beginning readers/writers can express their ideas. 
Invented spelling and dictation are par for the course. 


Recognize this design?

How about this one?


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