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ERIC Number: EJ788382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1062-9351
Reaching New Heights in Middle School Science: Straw Tower Competition Builds Student Interest
Pliskow, Tia
Tech Directions, v67 n6 p26-27 Jan 2008
Science educators face the challenge of piquing students' interest in subjects whose concepts are often entirely foreign to them. The author wanted to give her students a hands-on, "real world" experience rooted in scientific concepts. What evolved was an engineering design competition. The point of the project was two-fold: to work on real-world skills and to spark students' interest in science and technology. In middle school, students must begin to develop the ability to work on cooperative learning teams, as well as the ability to be patient enough to see a project through from initial concept to completion. The essential learnings addressed included design, the physics of weight and balance, and experimentation with different ideas. The overall goal of the activity involved students competing in teams to see who could build the tallest free-standing tower using only specified materials provided by the teacher. (Contains 1 table.)
Prakken Publications. 832 Phoenix Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Tel: 734-975-2800; Fax: 734-975-2787; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A