Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What's Going on in the Lab? Crossing a Chasm!

Are you ready for some rescue challenges?
I knew my students would like this because we tried one last year! It was in a series that I called Same Supplies-Two Tasks. (You can read more about that one right HERE.)
In that series two groups were given the same supplies, built different things, and then joined the two things together! It was pretty spectacular!

Anyway, I knew kids liked the rescue idea, so we worked on this:
STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!

Here's the premise behind this one.
The group is hiking and some of them make it across a chasm. They are stranded, however, without food. The other half of the team must devise a way to get food across the chasm.
Sounds pretty simple, right?

WRONG!
I added a twist to it.
Of course.
Do you know me?
There is always a twist to make it challenging!
In this one the way the food carrier is transported across the chasm is:
by the WIND!
Yep.

STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
I rigged up the apparatus above. It's just two desks with fishing line strung between them- four feet wide.
STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
Then I added a fan sitting on the floor. It's aimed at the crossing line. Now, the kids have to build something to hang from the line that the fan will blow all the way across!
STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
There's one going above. The kids  knew right away that they would have to have something built that would catch  the wind. The group above made a very tiny little sail.

STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
One problem was building the container to place the "food" in. (The food was actually a ping pong ball.)
STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
This group is making a parachute contraption! Will that work?
STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
Here it goes....
 STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
It didn't go all the way! The problem the kids discovered is that a parachute can't catch the wind when it is facing the floor. It would have to be turned parallel to the floor.
STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
The group above thought the wind would just be driven into the opening of the cup and sail across. NOPE! The opening is too small and the device also tended to turn around backwards.

STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
I LOVE THIS ONE! It looks like a ski lift chair. Sadly, it didn't work very well!

STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
This group added a large piece of foil behind the food carrier and it worked fairly well. The foil is heavier than you would think!

STEM Challenge: It's a real life challenge involving a rescue. Students build a device to cross a chasm powered only by wind! Wait until you hear the cheers when this one works! Awesome!
Finally, I had so many groups that thought a paper airplane would work! What do you think?

So, that's our first (of a trio) of rescue challenges! We loved it. The kids would gather around the testing tables and encourage the devices to go-go-go and then cheer when they did.
Believe it or not, one group made a contraption that sailed across in 5.09 seconds!


Join me in two weeks for the next edition of:

It will be about RESCUE OPERATION #2!
Also coming soon:
Candy Builds
Mystery Builds
Marble Runs
Snowflakes
Igloos
Snowmen

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