By Cathy Byrne
This is one of my favorite team-building, icebreaker activities. It’s also a great way to introduce your students to engineering! It can be done with students at many different grade levels. At the beginning of class, I start by welcoming my students to the staff of [Insert-the-name-of-your-school-here] Engineering Company.
I split the class into small groups and tell them: your team has been tasked with constructing the tallest free-standing tower you can build with the materials provided. I give each team a bag containing 20 pipe cleaners and I let them dive right in. It doesn’t take long for the teams to figure out that they need a strong base to hold the flimsy pipe cleaners.