In 6th Grade students were reading about natural disasters, so in STEAM they were challenged to create a model of a skyscraper that could withstand a 10 second earthquake simulation. Their structure also had to securely hold an egg. They used marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti and masking tape. (They could not tape their egg to their structure). They had to “purchase” their materials and had to stay within their budget of $4,875. Spaghetti was $100 per noodle, marshmallows were $50 a piece and masking tape was $25 per inch. Students had to write checks and complete purchase orders. They also had to decide whether or not they wanted to purchase insurance prior to construction in case of catastrophic loss. This unit incorporated the 4 C’s of 21st Century learning, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Students also had to be resilient and adopt a Growth Mindset when faced with challenges and set backs. See how they did in the video below:
When students create a computer program they are creating an algorithm or listing the steps needed for something to happen. Students also use algorithms in mathematics; in this case the algorithms would be the steps taken to divide fractions or multiply decimals. Students were challenged to create a program in Scratch that reteaches a math concept. By elaborating on their understanding of the math by teaching the concept to others, this will help them store this skill in their long term memory!
Here are their final products: