Last Friday, Mrs Burns’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) group got busy with unifix cubes seeing who could build the tallest tower. It didn’t take too long for the children to discover the main flaw with unifix cubes….they lean over!

This led to a discussion about why the towers were leaning, what could be done to prevent them from leaning and how could the structure be made more stable. The children looked at some pictures from towers around the world to see what could be learnt from the experts: the power of the brace, the wider base at the bottom, the sneaky way to add height by just placing a pole on top!

It all sounded quite simple really, and the children were ready to put their newly-acquired knowledge into practice – until Mrs Burns replaced the cubes with spaghetti and heart shaped marshmallows, and set them a challenge…..
Can you build a structure that will support the weight of a highlighter?  Can you make your structure the tallest structure in the class? (No hands allowed!)

There were shouts of success – followed, in some cases, by tears of frustration as magnificent structures crumbled to the table. There were flashes of brilliance as pasta was eagerly split into smaller parts to support larger sections. There were heated discussions as to whether it was better to use the marshmallows whole or cut them in half.

Overall, a terrific sense of teamwork and genuine delight emerged as Flora (5H), Sayuri (5H) and Kumayl (5H) successfully managed to complete both tasks.

I wonder what will happen next week…..