East Broadway Elementary School fifth graders participated in an interactive science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics lesson on Nov. 8. Fifth grade classes gathered for a collaborative design challenge relating to their unit on gravity and space.
The students first watched a video about the lunar module landing on mars. They brainstormed what a successful space lander would look like and then together with their groups, sketched their designs. Students received limited building materials including a paper cup, tape, straws, an index card and two marshmallows. The goal was to design an effective space lander that would hold the marshmallows without them falling out.
"The hardest part about the project was figuring out what we were going to make," said fifth grader Nicholas Dowdeswell.
After creating their landers, a member from each group went on stage and tested out their designs with the help of their teachers. Among the tests, space landers were dropped from a ladder to see how it would withstand the force of gravity and thrown to test its strength against the "Earth's atmosphere." Anticipation filled the room before each lander was tested and students cheered when their designs made the cut. The final two groups standing that still had their marshmallows shared with the rest of the grade how they thought of their design and what they did to make it come to fruition.