Year 10 STEM Activity – Tower Building

Thursday, March 31, 2022

During their Wednesday afternoon activity period, Year 10 students were introduced to the realm of civil engineering by Mr Patrick and Mr Marcin. The challenge was to design and build the tallest possible popsicle stick tower given limited time and resources. A further necessity of the challenge was that their design and build needed to support a book for a total of five seconds.

In this culminating challenge students brainstormed in designated groups to satisfy the constraints and requirements of the task at hand. Each group immediately realized that for their tower to support a book it would need to have a solid foundation and that the taller the structure the more tendency it would have to topple over. Given each group had limited popsicle sticks they needed to be innovative to maximize the possible height of their towers. Using a combination of glue, twine and grit all three groups created a stable tower right on schedule for the testing period.

The suspense during the testing of the towers was very tense with each group being highly competitive. The difference in height between each of the towers was marginal but the final hurdle of balancing a book proved the difference for the winning group. The collaboration and teamwork on show was outstanding and admirable. The students successfully mirrored the role of civil engineers while demonstrating qualities such teamwork, patience, consistency, creativity, and resilience.