Thursday, November 25, 2010

Marshmallow Challenge

This is another sixth grader who is friends with Hanif and his excitement for this event exemplifies how awesome the entirety of the homeroom challenge was in getting students excited about being in school and working together to achieve great things. Back in August I had done this challenge with some of my classes, but wasn't able to find marshmallows and so we put Tim Tams on the top. Tim Tams are heavier than marshmallows and from that experience my students learned the most complicated aspect of this challenge, supporting the weight on top. Additionally, in preparation for this challenge while some students were preparing for later events (such as the Book Cover design or Door Decoration), others worked on creating a model tower and experimenting with different design elements.
This is the general design for our tower on the day of the event. My only contribution was the best way to create a strong base (the triad coming from each leg and supporting the other two) while the general design, ideas to increase height, and further supports were all student generated during our practice session.
Intricacies of working with thin spaghetti demanded many hands to support and secure the tower (principle builders were Natasha, Arsyan, Eca, Eric and Dika- see working below while the 10th grade supervisor, Kiki, regulates - though never mounted up!)

Great action shot of Eca doing his thing.
My favorite picture from the event and potentially from the challenge overall. I love the sheer joy in the faces of the builders with the success of their tower, notably Dika and Natasha.
Measuring the winning tower. Notice the support brace that Eca implemented in the middle of the challenge when he noticed the marshmallow was listing to one side, pure genius and the reason the tower ended up standing and becoming the tallest (hence why I tried to contribute as little as possible so that student inspiration would be the highlight!)

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