Help! A peep needs protection! Can your student create a strong structure to keep their peep safe during a drop? Let’s find out with this super STEM activity!
What you need:
- Jelly beans
What you do:
In order to build our protective structures, we’ll stick the toothpicks into the jellybeans, which will act as joints. The goal is to make a protective structure for the peep.
Part of the beauty of super STEM activities is having the room for students to be creative with their engineering. Therefore, we want to make this activity as loose as possible. This way, they can practice their designing, planning, building, and problem solving skills. Challenge students to make a house, tent, tower, and various other buildings for their peep. Test how strong they are by picking up the structure and dropping it from 6 inches high!
Questions to consider:
- Which type of structure was the strongest?
- What do you think made a structure strong?
- What other materials could you add to the mix to make your structures even stronger?
Why it works:
You may have noticed that building a triangle is more stable than building a square. This is because squares lack rigidity and inherently less stable than a triangle. If you tried building a pyramid instead of a cube, your jelly bean peep protector would have more strength.
This is because in a pyramid, every wall is touching and learning against one another. Each wall reinforces the other. A cube loses that rigidity because there are walls that face each other without touching.