Sunday, October 9, 2016

Strongest Pasta Bridges Challenge

We are reading the book, Masters of Disaster, by Gary Paulsen in our classroom.  In the book, the three characters are trying to break a world record.  They have epic fails, but never give up.  It is a great book for upper elementary and it really gets kids excited about reading because the book is absolutely hysterical!


I created a set of STEM challenges based on real world records and then we tried to do them!  One of the challenges was to create the strongest pasta bridge with a span of at least 15 inches.  Students got 4 feet of masking tape and one box of spaghetti noodles.  Some groups were successful, and some were not, but students learned a lot and had a lot of fun!  They also got more experience working together to complete a task.






Our strongest pasta bridge actually held seven pounds of weight!  As you can see from the pictures, groups had some very different ways of completing the challenge.  I always love to see their creativity!  Click here for the link to this STEm pack.


We also used our STEM Reference Sheets for Bridges when doing this challenge.  The reference sheets help students troubleshoot and come up with ideas for a specific topic.  Click here to purchase the reference sheet.  I laminated the two pages of the reference sheet back to back on colored paper.  We can then access them whenever we do a STEm challenge with bridges!


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