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MS Science & Engineering 11/29

Hello everyone!

I hope that you had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving break. I’m looking forward to the short stretch up to our winter break, and I know the students will return with their typical zeal. PLEASE remember that this week will be COLD, and to encourage students to dress accordingly. Layers, hats, and gloves will be necessities as we head into these chillier months.

The week before Thanksgiving, we were able to complete and test our Toothpick Bridge Projects. I was SO impressed with the creative approaches our middle schoolers used to solve this challenge. We had many combinations of arch, truss, and beam elements, and their written reflections made it clear that they understood the benefits and liabilities of these features. Collectively the students were able to support over 300lbs with these bridges!

I want to give a special shout out to Zachary who made it clear from the outset that he wanted to build a special design for the project. The modified arch bridge he produced ended up supporting over 110lbs at school, which was the maximum our system was able to handle. So, he brought his bridge home and used materials from his garage. His bridge was able to support 118lbs before breaking - a remarkable achievement!

Following our bridge project, we took a few days to watch, discuss, and write about a fascinating documentary - “My Octopus Teacher”. This week, we will complete our Science Fair project Research Plan and learn about the application of fractal geometry to the natural world.

Thanks, Barry for a neat master class on Dyson spheres and swarms. This Friday, it will be Connor’s turn to present a topic.

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