Tower Problem

September 26, 2013

Tower Problem

Sixth grade Science students met their first "Tower Problem" challenge.  Tower Problem gives them the opportunity to:
*demonstrate that students already do think like scientists!
*develop group problem-solving skills through use of manipulatives.
*practice observing, hypothesizing, designing, analyzing, and  reevaluating.
*enjoy building things!

Students use wooden blocks to build the tallest tower.  A "team" consists of 2 "builders" (who do not know they are a team until their names are drawn and it is time to compete).  The team has 2 minutes to build the tower.  The team may not speak after their names are announced or during the building process.  After the 2 minute building period the tower is measured in centimeters (1 point per centimeter), points deducted (1 point per word spoken during 2 minute building period), and the score is recorded.

Roles class members play during each 2 minute competition include:  timer (announces when 2 minutes starts and when 1 minute is left); recorder (records results); safety inspector (watches for safety problems, gets chair if needed, helps measure height of tower, counts number of blocks used); spectators (observe and learn, watch for words spoken).

Pictures show the first place team from four different Science class periods.

SCI-4: Honorio / Jacqueline
120 cm (44 blocks)

SCI-6: Estefani / Gabriela
202 cm (44 blocks)

SCI-9: Chase / Francisco
134 cm (26 blocks)

SCI-10: Jolinda / Miguel
141 cm (44 blocks)