A fantastic fuzzy problem to start the year. Students use pasta and tape to try to get a marshmallow up as high as possible.
Content Area: Science
We’re not doing a fluffy art project here. Kids are developing a realistic, made up creature that could have actually lived in a particular biome.
A reader asks how we can take the typical “look up facts online and then present with PowerPoint” task to an appropriate level of challenge.
Science should be more than memorizing facts. Let’s spice it up and push our students from the doldrums of remembering to the soaring heights of evaluation. While it’s true that this will take longer than just following a textbook, we’re not just teaching facts, we’re equipping students with the ability to make well-informed judgements.
We’re supposed to rank fifteen items according to usefulness if we were stranded on the light-side of the moon. The items range from pistols to powdered milk. Some seem useful, but are actually worthless while others seem unnecessary on earth, but are actually vital when stuck on the moon. However, the structure of the activity as a website is not optimal. Let’s improve this and make it an awesome problem–solving exercise for our class.
At our school, 6th graders participate in an annual egg drop. To increase the rigor, I looked for unique scientific roles and came up with three: designing a parachute to slow the egg’s descent, testing materials to pack inside the structure, and developing the structure itself. Each of these roles will be developed into a scientific discipline.