Friday, September 13, 2013

The Apple Balance Challenge

This week in enrichment students were challenged to use ten straws, two feet of tape, and a piece of paper to create a structure that would hold an apple at least three inches off of the table.  Students worked in teams to design build and test!  

Team challenges are a great way to begin our year of learning together.  These challenges support the idea that we all can contribute great ideas and can work together towards a solution.  I also love that students are willing to try things, take risks, and move on when something does not work.  There are many articles about the importance of risk taking in learning. These types of challenges not only provide a fun and collaborative environment for a start to our year, but they give students a chance to innovate in a risk free supportive culture!

I was particularly impressed today when a group of first graders asked me if they could have a spare piece of paper to draw out their design plans. They wanted to make sure that they used their materials wisely, as well as coordinate all of their ideas so they could reach an agreed upon plan.  They were learning the key elements of good design.....independently! 

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