Wk. 1: Towers – Building & Testing

Week #1: Towers – Building & Testing

Objectives

  • Plan and construct a model intended to support 20 grams of action figures
  • Explore methods of fastening or joining materials
  • Explore how different shapes provide strength and stability
  • Staying with an investigation over a sustained period of time

Activities

  • Learners explored ways to stack playing cards to make a stand to support weight.
  • Learners compared the stability of the three action figures (four legs, two legs on a stand, two legs without stand).
  • Learners planned and constructed a tower to support three action figures at least 30 cm tall.

Questions to Discuss

  • What shapes did you make from the playing cards to support the action figures?
  • Which action figure (dinosaur, pirate, or robot) was the easiest to knock over?
  • What did you use to keep your tower from falling over (more legs, string, tape, or something else)?
  • How would sitting on a chair with only one or two legs be different from one with three or four legs?
  • What was different from your first plan and your final tower?
  • What would change about your tower to make it taller or able to support more action figures?

Things to Try at Home

  • Draw or take pictures of other strong shapes found in playgrounds or furniture around the house. How did the builders make those objects stronger? Did they add different materials or use strong shapes?
  • Interview friends and adults to make a list of things people try when at first they don’t succeed. Much of what science has discovered has been through testing and error. What do you do if you don’t succeed at first?
  •  What are some materials that you use to build with (like LEGO, blocks, K’NEX, play dough, or other)? What sort of things do you build with them?
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