Monday, November 21, 2016

Mini-Mayflower Challenge

Today we spent the entire day working on a Thanksgiving STEAM Challenge. We began the day with building our background knowledge about who the Pilgrims were and how they came to be on the Mayflower ship. We had a lengthy discussion about what it must have been like for the Pilgrims to take such a long journey, as well as what they would have needed/ been able to bring with them.

Next, we shifted gears a bit and thought about what the word Capacity means.  We tied this knowledge back to the Mayflower's capacity to carry the Pilgrims across the ocean, and the fact that over 100 Pilgrims and sailors were on the Mayflower traveling for about 9 weeks. This lead to a great discussion about how a ship's structure impacts the ship's ability to float and carry heavy loads.

At this point students were presented with the challenge of creating a ship in small groups, that would have the largest capacity and still function properly to get the Pilgrims across the ocean. Of course there were constraints on materials and time, so each group had to work as a team and create the best ship possible with what they had. It was a great day and every group was successful in creating a ship that had a capacity to hold over 100 pennies!

All of the groups will be presenting their designs and discussing what went well, what was challenging, and what they would do differently next time tomorrow morning!

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