Today we delved into the world of STEM.
STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM is important because it is part of our everyday lives and provides hands-on lessons that require critical thinking and innovation.
This afternoon, we took part in the 'Marshmallow Challenge'. The Marshmallow Challenge requires you to create a structure using the following equipment:
50 strands of spaghetti
60cm masking tape
ball of blue tack (for the base only! NO CHEATING)
Sounds easy, right?
Well... the tricky part is that your structure has to hold the weight of 1 large or 2 small marshmallows AND it must be taller than everyone else's.
See, it's not as easy as you thought!
We started by observing some of the famous towers found around the world, such as: The Eiffel Tower, The Leaning Tower of Pisa and, my favourite, The Blackpool Tower. We looked at their structures and identified similarities and differences. We identified the different 2D and 3D shapes that can be seen on each tower and discussed how these help to provide a solid foundation.
As a class, we decided that our towers needed a wider base and a narrow top. We then got to work...
We faced many difficulties: our towers collapsed, we ran out of materials, our spaghetti snapped. Despite this, we all showed persistence, innovation and determination to succeed.
Surprisingly, we had a handful of towers that were strong enough to hold the weight of the marshmallow but there was one clear winner. One pupil managed to create an 82cm structure by wrapping strands of spaghetti together to create thicker poles. Very creative!
Why don't you have a go at home? Send your submissions for me to look at - I would love to see your creations!