Tuesday, March 22, 2016

STEM activities do not have to be expensive, complex, or time consuming. 9 year old Smarty had a lot of fun trying to build the tallest possible lemon tower.
STEM Challenge for kids: build a lemon tower

Lemon Tower Set Up

Our lemon tree was very bountiful this year. We eventually relieved it of its load and brought lemons inside. Before we decided what to do with this mountain of lemons, I challenged Smarty to build the highest lemon tower she could possibly build.

If You Fail, Try Again

This activity seems simple, but, as Smarty quickly found out, building a tower of lemons is not at all simple. Her tower kept collapsing - presenting a great opportunity to fail quickly and learn from failures. Smarty eventually figured out that it would be better to put bigger lemons on the very bottom and not to pile them up every which way.

Add Some Measuring Practice

Before I invited Smarty to build her tower, I quickly built one too. Smarty really wanted to "beat" me in the height of her tower, so she was measuring heights of each tower she built. And, yes, she is cheating here a little bit :)

Build Bigger Towers 

Build bigger towers with girders

I was hoping to experiment with adding "girders" to our tower with a sheet of paper towels between each layer as described in this fun experiment from Almost Unschoolers, but my daughter wanted none of it. After building towers for 30 minutes or so, she was ready for lemonade :)

Your Turn

STEM Challenge for Kids: Tower of Lemons

What kind of STEM fun have you been up to lately?

More Engineering Challenges for Kids?

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Ticia said...

I loved that shot of the tower falling apart, that is priceless!

We haven't really done much with building towers, aside from with Legos. It'd be fun to see what my kids came up with.