Spaghetti Towers

by - September 06, 2010

Several of our new Sixth Grade Science standards deal with the concept of Engineering.  This is a new topic for me to teach, and I have been searching for a way to reinforce this concept.
So, last Friday I decided to try a project that I had used years ago when teaching the Youth Group at my church.  I challenged groups of four students to build a tower using only gumdrops, mini marshmallows, and pieces of spaghetti.
 The goal was to design and engineer the tallest tower in the class.  They had 20 minutes to build this tower, and they had to communicate in some way other than talking.
Albert would have been proud.  The groups worked together so well, with no one getting upset or angry at mistakes that were made or towers that fell.  I do believe these kids learned a lot about the design process, as well as, the importance of working together. 
Oh,...and the winning tower was 26 inches tall.

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