This is a fun and engaging beginning of the year activity. This pairs with my Thinking Like a Scientist/Engineer skills handout (not needed--but will allow you to use my reflection question). Students must work together to brainstorm, design and create a tower of straws using only the given materials. After they build their tower, there are class discussion questions and a great reflection to tie what they did to a year-long theme and the real world. So much fun for kids and teacher to see what the students create!