Your challenge... www.justmaths.co.uk You have _______ minutes You can only use the midget gems and cocktails sticks you have. The winner will be the group with the tallest and most stable bridge. My decision is final!
Teachers notes Students to work in groups of 3 or 4 – each group is given a packet of midget gems (tesco value @ 22p) and a tub of 500 cocktail sticks. Make it clear at the outset that they should not eat their construction material. Start by getting each student (so they are all doing something) to make a square, then a cube. Discuss how flimsy this structure is in its construction – you may choose to “crush” one of them to demonstrate this (I like to do that!!) Then get them to make triangles and subsequently a tetrahedron (you can discuss the properties of 3D shapes too) but illustrate how strong this structure is. Allocate them a set amount of time in which to build the tallest bridge by linking multiple tetrahedrons together (some will get creative by using cubes too, but that’s ok – make it clear that you need to be able to pass an object between the towers (I use 10 multi-link cubes which must pass through widthways). Be sure to take photos for your newsletter/website or just to remind students that maths can be fun! www.justmaths.co.uk