Build a tower
The confrontation with new problems and challenges requires creativity and originality to arrive at a solution. You need consultation and a systematic approach. In this activity we tackle this, combined with time pressure and dealing with setbacks.
Your students will:
- Collaborate to arrive at a creative solution.
- Learning to work with trial and error
- Design a structure
You need 10 sticks per group of 4 students, 10 soft small candies to connect the sticks together and 1 thick candy to place at the top of the tower. A tape measure with which you can measure the height makes it all a bit more official.
Give the materials to each group and start the clock: the groups each have 6 minutes to make a tower as high as possible with the materials they have received. They don't have to use everything, but using additional materials is prohibited.
The tower is not finished until the big candy is placed at the very top of the tower.
When the time is up, everyone raises their hands.
The teacher, together with the children, measures the height of each structure (at least if there are still standing ones, because most children initially underestimate the impact of the big candy…).
Take a second and a third round where your students can use the insights they have gained to make a better building.
How come one group could build a higher tower than another?
Have you collaborated?
What did you do differently in the 2nd and 3rd round?
Have you thought about giving up?
Apply new materials such as adhesive tape, spatulas, strings, ...
Use spaghetti instead of skewers.
Let your students formulate additional challenges themselves.
Go outside and let them find materials from nature to build a tower with.