STEM in Fifth Grade
Posted On:
Thursday, September 22, 2016
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On Friday, September 1st, fifth graders participated in their first STEM activity of the year. Each group designed a tower from 20 miniature marshmallows, 20 pieces of dried spaghetti and a meter of tape. The tower had to be able to support the weight of one large marshmallow for 30 seconds. An extra challenge was that students could not damage the large marshmallow in any way or help support the tower themselves.   

    

After everyone described the processes involved in building their tower and had a chance to look at the others, they were given a new challenge. They were required to design a new tower to be as tall as possible that would support the same marshmallow for 30 seconds, but this time they were given a budget of $400 and no tape. The student engineers drew up the plans, decided how many “members” (spaghetti pieces) and how many “joiners” (marshmallows) they would need to purchase for their design, go to the “company” to purchase their supplies, reflect the purchase in their budget, build and then test the towers. Any supplies they did not use were able to be returned to the “company” for a refund, which also had to be reflected in their budget. The winning team’s tower was 28.2 cm tall with $285 left in their budget. 

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