Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What is Going on in Your Science Class? ~ It's All Mazes!

So, what have you been doing in your science class? Join me and link up your blog post! It will be up for two weeks! Look for the next one on March 25th!

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What have we worked on?
MAZES!
STEM Challenge: Engineer a maze with boxes  and paper, and see if your marble will follow the path!

These are oldies, but goodies, a blast from the past!
We have completed two different versions of mazes and both have been spectacular.
I just realized the other day that I have barely mentioned these on this little blog of mine!
So, here ya go!!

Mazes # 1
Our first maze challenge included using boxes, cardboard, paper, and tape. Kids had to draw a blueprint for the maze first! For some of them this was tedious!
STEM Engineering Challenge: Design your maze on paper and then transfer your idea to a real maze made of paper or straws!

They wanted the drawing to be perfect! I did not expect this, but on the other hand, it is not surprising! Isn't this exactly what an engineer would do!

The next step was to create the mazes. I gave the kids gift boxes to use as their base- simply because I had tons of these at home!
They bent cardboard and paper and used tape to make the paths of their mazes. 
STEM Engineering Challenge: PLacing those maze walls carefully to make the best path for the marble that runs through!

This ended up being quite an exercise in trial and error as they would make the paths too narrow or the walls too short. Many of them wanted to make the boxes more decorative so I let them use construction paper to line the boxes.
STEM Engineering Challenge: Decorate your maze with a theme and be creative with it!

Then the most amazing thing happened!
I had one group ask if their maze could have a theme and that idea just took off. Soon we had all kinds of decorated and themed mazes. The one in the above picture had a volcano and trees!
I had not planned on this feature, but it gave the kids an opportunity to be even more creative. The best part was that some kids kept working on the actual maze while others in the group began to work on the decorative parts. It was a true team effort!
STEM Engineering Challenge: Decorate your maze with a theme and be creative with it!

STEM Engineering Challenge: Samples of several of the marble mazes we built! Fabulous STEM event!

The group in the picture above wanted two boxes because their maze just got so big. Can you see in the center how they joined the two boxes together?
Ah-may-zing!

Mazes # 2
So, we tried a different kind of maze one day.
For some reason kids love mazes. I once had a third grader that would sit all day and just draw mazes on paper. He'd bring them to me to solve.
I would have preferred he, like, maybe, do his school work.....just sayin'

Anyway, the next maze challenge was to use only two supplies!
Straws and tape! This time I gave them a flat piece of heavy weight poster board and the kids actually drew their mazes on the board rather than graph paper.
STEM Engineering Challenge: This is a quick challenge with a minimum of materials and directions. Kids designs their maze and make the paths with straws!

You can see their pathways in the photos. The biggest problem we had with these was, again, that the kids would make the paths too narrow. We also found that sometimes the marble would jump over the walls of the maze.

In both events the part we liked best was.....
trading mazes with other groups and trying them!
Have you ever tried a maze with your class?    

If you'd like more activities for force and motion you may want to take a look here:



1 comment :

  1. I LOVE doing mazes with my kids! It is such a great activity. It looks like they worked really hard on theirs!

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