Presentation (Powerpoint) File
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This is another great resource I have in my TpT store that introduces students to the process of STEM and engineering! You can also pair it with my other tower challenge product in my store (Spaghetti Marshmallow Tower Challenge) to build onto the process of engineering!
This PowerPoint goes through the steps that students should take when problem solving or building. It is challenging for some students, but all students learn the importance of teamwork and never giving up to achieve the ultimate goal of a tower that won't fall over if something is placed on top.
Materials you will need:
1. 20 index cards per group (for this one, I found that groups of 2 work well.. you can also have a group of 3)
2. 2 feet of tape per group
3. Scissors per group
4. A small stuffed animal (to test to see if the tower will remain standing under weight)--- I used a pretty small stuffed animal that weighed equivalent to a scissors (so students were able to test the weight as they went with their scissors)
5. ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: A larger stuffed animal (or something heavier)-- to test if the first stuffed animal is supported! Students whose towers remained standing for the smaller item LOVED to see if their towers could support something heavier!
What I did is have partners build in the time allowed. I circulated to discuss their thinking and ideas. When time was up, all students put their hands in the air and together as one large group we traveled from tower to tower to test the weight of the small (and larger) stuffed animal. Students were extremely engaged and excited to see which towers succeeded and which fell! We then discussed different styles of towers that worked well and related them to real life (such as support walls in buildings or columns in parking structures).
Students love this activity... and it is also fun for the teacher to see students so engaged!