Paper Tower Building Challenge
In this activity students will work in groups to create the tallest possible structure out of scrap paper. This can be either a single or multi-session event.
Rationale (Why we are doing this?)
- Work in a group cooperatively to solve a problem
- Start building problem solving skills for later projects
- Scrap paper (recycling, copy room, etc.)
- Masking Tape
Context and Background Knowledge
How to roll paper.
Curricular Connections (Competencies and Content)
|Skills can be developed through play||Big Idea|
|Add to others ideas||Applied Design|
|Use trial and error to make changes, solve problems or incorporate new ideas from self or others||Applied Design|
|Reflect on their ability to work effectively both as individuals and collaboratively in a group||Applied Design|
|Develop their skills and add new ones through play and collaborative work||Applied Skills|
|Generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem solving||Science – 2|
|Co-operatively design projects||Science – 3|
|Work respectively and constructively with others to achieve common goals||Career Education – 2|
|Direct linear measurement||Math – 2/3|
|Make simple inferences based on their results and prior knowledge||(Science-4)|
|Financial literacy||Math – 2/3|
Explore + Understand + Create (Key elements/Lesson Design/Format)
- The first lesson I give them free control over their constructions. They are given as much paper as they need and a limited supply of tape. They are free to use any process they can figure out to build the tallest possible structure. Halfway through the activity I invite them to walk around and look at what other groups are doing. At the end of the allotted time we measure the height of the standing towers.
- The 2nd lesson we discuss what worked and what didn’t the last time. I give a few tips based on what I saw if needed. We then repeat the activity.
- Repeat lesson 2 until they can’t build anything taller.
- This is a pretty inclusive activity. Everyone can participate. Anyone that struggles with rolling paper can help with taping.
- Extensions would be to challenge a group to find different ways to build their structure once they have polished a strategy.