Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Session 2, Part C:
Building Towers (45 minutes)

 In Part C, you will apply what you've learned about the properties of figures to a construction task. Problem C1 Gather toothpicks and mini marshmallows, or other connectors. Your job is to work for 10 minutes to build the largest freestanding structure you can. "Freestanding" means the structure cannot lean against anything else to keep it up. At the end of 10 minutes, stop building, and measure your structure. Note 5

 Problem C2 What kinds of shapes did you use in your structure? Which shapes made the building stronger? Which shapes made the building weaker?

 Problem C3 If you had the chance to build the structure again, what would you do differently?

 Video Segment In this video segment, participants attempt to build freestanding structures with toothpicks and mini marshmallows. Watch this segment after you have built your own freestanding structure, and compare your strategy with that of the onscreen participants. What kinds of shapes did the onscreen participants use in their structures the first time? How did some of the groups revise their strategy? How did your structure compare with those of the onscreen participants? If you are using a VCR, you can find this segment on the session video approximately 18 minutes and 50 seconds after the Annenberg Media logo.

 Problem C4 Get another set of building materials and take an additional 10 minutes to create a new freestanding structure. Your goal this time is to build a structure taller than the one you made before.

 Building Towers problem adapted from IMPACT Mathematics Course, 2, developed by Educational Development Center, Inc. pp. 476-477. © 2000 Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Used with permission. www.glencoe.com/sec/math

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