It’s the end of the year and your students are so antsy that you feel like a droning Zombie at the front of the room. It’s time for a design challenge! However, this activity can fit in any time during the school year. Save it for one of “those” days.
Students get a roll of masking tape and a big stack of newspapers to construct a tower to support a basketball over a “hole in the ceiling.” The tower must have a release mechanism that allows the ball to be released with minimal noise and without visually exposing the humans. You'll also need a few basketballs.
I introduce the activity by entering the room as a zombie and groaning out the instructions. It’s great fun, pretty chaotic and will have you and your students in stitches.
• Hands on experience
• Cooperative Learning
• Design challenge
• Teacher instructions and set up
• Reinforcement of difficult concepts
• Student handouts grading rubric
Keywords: design, challenge, physics, STEM, STEAM, Newton's laws, friction, engineering, GTE