Maker Club – Quickfire Challenge Edition

I decided, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, I needed to add something to Maker Club. The students and I have talked about challenges for them to complete, but when push comes to shove and I offer them a challenge, they’d rather tinker on their own. I started thinking about cooking shows on the Food Network, and the small challenges the contestants participate in before their elimination challenge, thus, the quickfire challenge was created.

Each Maker Club, the quickfire challenge will change, and students will never know beforehand what the challenge is. Students will be given 10 minutes to complete a challenge. Some will be group challenges, some will be individual, prizes will be awarded to at least 3 students every time. Every student must participate, and may not touch the Spheros, littleBits, etc. until the challenge is finished.

Last week students were excited for the “Marshmallow Challenge”. Students created teams and were given marshmallows and toothpicks. Their directions were: in 10 minutes they needed to work together to build the tallest structure out of marshmallows and toothpicks. At the end of 10 minutes the structure must be standing so I could measure it. Simple, but FUN!

We had 3 teams, each with a different number of students. The team with the most students won, which was my hypothesis, but the team with the smallest number of students actually came in 2nd. Each team worked differently. On one team,  all students worked separately and then tried to piece everything together at the end…*SPOILER*, their tower collapsed. One team built a structure that wasn’t very stable, but then kept adding around the outside to balance it. The last team had their tower collapse many times, but because they had the most people, they were able to troubleshoot and rebuild. It was fun to watch, and I am excited for the next challenge at the end of March.

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