Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers

Students at Carpenter these past two weeks have been learning about Makerspaces. This summer I received a Iowa STEM grant called Making STEM connections. With the grant I received a large toolbox and many tools and items for the students to use during the school year that help with makerspaces. I introduced the students to the tools last week and they completed a Safety Stoplight to show what tools they feel comfortable using on their own and what tools they need to only use when a teacher is present. We also talked about safety features for each tool as I introduced them so the students would know the proper way to hold and use the tools. Some of the tools we discussed include; sewing machine, hammer, screwdriver, iron, scissors, motors, drills, and hot glue gun. Ask your child what areas they put the different tools in on their stoplight.

This week we have been learning about the Learning Design Process and making Spaghetti and Marshmallow towers. Students had to come up with a plan of how they would create a tower using only what they were given and try to make it as tall as it can be. They drew out their plan and then received 25 spaghetti noodles and 50 marshmallows. Most groups thought that making a cube would work the best but quickly learned that a pyramid has a stronger structure and stay up longer. The students worked very hard this week and enjoyed exploring how to be creative and willing to change your plan and try a new way when things do not work out the first time.


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