Students in Katie Scotton’s and Rosa Salazar’s third grade class often enjoy a Friday afternoon team activity that focuses on STEM areas of science, technology, engineering, and/or math. On March 25th their task was to design a bridge that held the most calculators. The materials they had available were 15 straws, 10 pipe cleaners, two small cups, scissors, and a yard of masking tape. Working in pairs the students had 30 minutes to make their own version of a bridge. Trial and error, laughter, and occasional differences of opinion accompanied the highly engaging activity. The end result had one group’s bridge being able to hold nine calculators to be the winner.
“The conversations, team building, compromising, and thought processes are some of the most important parts of the assignment,” noted Scotton.