with Leigh Ann Yoder
Tower of (Pasta!) Power
The Young Inventors did a wonderful job on their homework this week. Keep up the good work!
After reviewing homework, we talked about the Design Process: Identify the Problem --> Brainstorm --> Design --> Build --> Test and Evaluate --> Redesign --> Share Solution. We spent time discussing each of the steps and their importance to overall success. We will review this process every week as the students apply it to a variety of challenges.
The students then got to apply the process to their first Mini-Challenge. Mini-Challenges are quick and designed for the students to have an opportunity to figure a few things out before the main challenge. I don't expect all teams to succeed in the Mini-Challenges, but rather learn from their mistakes. Today's challenge was called "Tower of Pasta." Each team of two to three students was given 40 pieces of spaghetti, 15 pieces of elbow macaroni, 25 mini-marshmallows, 10 toothpicks, 4 straws and 5 adhesive mailing labels. Their challenge was to build a structure that was a minimum of 8 inches high and would hold a container. They also received bonus point for each 16 penny nail their structure could hold. In addition, each team was given a score for teamwork. Because this was their first Mini-Challenge, I extended the time constraint from 10 minutes to 18 minutes.
Next week we will continue our unit as we explore skyscrapers. The homework is slightly more this week, so please plan accordingly.
PLEASE BRING IN toilet paper and paper towel tubes - I will be collecting these over the next few weeks for one of our challenges.
The Skyscraper Challenge
Engineer of the Week:
Read Interviews with Civil and Stuctural Engineers:
Write one paragraph describing what your engineer does. This should be typed and handed in. Make certain you keep copies of your work because eventually this will be incorporated into your presentation.
Story of Inventions (Optional):
Read chapters 5 & 6