Today we participated in the Great Spaghetti Challenge, one of the many wonderful Projects By Jen!
Task: Use the materials listed below and build a free-standing tower! The project runs from October 10 - November 18. Join the fun!
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To prepare for the project, we thought about the Engineering Design Process.
(click to enlarge)
|From Tracy Watanabe|
In preparation, we watched some building videos on BrainPop.
Mrs. Yollis put everyone into small groups, ideas were discussed, and a plan was made.
Finally, the materials were passed out, and the creativity began!
Students were given 18 minutes to build a free-standing tower with a marshmallow on the top. The enemy to all...GRAVITY!
Time was ticking away...
Several started with a solid foundation.
Everyone chipped in!
After 18 minutes, only one tower was free-standing! Behold, the winning structure and team!
Way to go! The tower measured 44 cm!
One of the members on the winning team used observational learning to modify and create a winning structure. Preston noticed that everyone was making their towers quite tall, but none of them were staying upright, and that was without the marshmallow! So, he persuaded his team to make a shorter, more stable tower. It worked!
After processing the learning, Mrs. Yollis gave every team an additional five minutes to modify and improve their tower...just for fun. Almost everyone was able build a free-standing structure. Meter sticks were brought out and the height was measured.
This one measures 38 cm!
Here's a second try that measured 46 cm.
Will it stand? Will gravity win?
This one measures 38 cm.
Sadly, this one collapsed.
This one measures approximately 15 cm.
Plus, our little 3 cm tower.
Preston also used weight to counter balance the tower.
In the afternoon, we held a Google HangOut with Mrs. Watanabe and some teachers from Ventura County Office of Schools. The students talked about the process of designing a tower. Many of the teachers had the same results as the students. The teachers asked the students how they resolved problems. How did you resolve some of the problems in your group?
|Photo collage by Mrs. Watanabe|
What was your favorite part of the design process?
How would you do this task differently?