STEM Competition Has Students Talking

Through trial and error with the clock ticking, this group reworks their base to help support the already constructed tower.
Through trial and error with the clock ticking, this group reworks their base to help support the already constructed tower.
As his teammates construct the base, this young man is set on adding the height.
As his teammates construct the base, this young man is set on adding the height.
The concept was simple: the more solid the base the taller their structure could be. Actual construction was a collaborative affair that highlighted teamwork.
The concept was simple: the more solid the base the taller their structure could be. Actual construction was a collaborative affair that highlighted teamwork.

Science classes at Silas Wood were all very busy recently as they worked with their classmates on an exciting STEM activity. Students were given the task of creating a freestanding structure using thirty straws, fifty paper clips and one rubber band. They worked cooperatively in groups to build their structure so that it was not only freestanding, but also as tall as they could make it. You could hear the buzz of conversation as our 6th-graders worked diligently to find the best solution to the challenge. "They were given the instructions that day and did an outstanding job,” said Silas Wood Science teacher, Mr. Joseph Poller.

Using the scientific method to plan and problem solve, students also exercised their mathematical skills by applying angles and measurements in their design. "Throughout the school year, students are presented with different STEM challenges,” said Mr. Poller. “Students found that this challenge forced them to think and perform without any prior preparation."  Acting as engineers when designing the framework for their structure, the groups enjoyed racing against the clock to complete the task in the thirty minutes they were given. Congratulations to the winning team, but given the intensity of the challenge and how well the groups collaborated it seemed they all came away winners.

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