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Tower of Power

No, no movie to review this time or Storify insight to share(although both are forthcoming)…  I did want to post a Soundslides video I made of my Technical Writing students testing their towers.

The aim was to build a tower 8cm tall that would hold as much mass as possible.  The hitch was they could only use one piece of paper.  The old record, using just glue stick, paper and lots of ingenuity, was 101.5 lbs!  Amazingly we had two towers from one group with soared past this mark to both hold 120 lbs!

The premise was that the students were working for NASA on phase one of a engineering design.  NASA wanted structural members that were both light and strong.  The groups were charged with experimenting to create the best design.  After all the testing they will take their data and create a design report(a cousin of the lab report).  It’s way more fun than me just giving them data for a lab report and requires lots of “soft” skills like interpersonal communication and teamwork as well as a whole raft of higher-order thinking skills.

Check out this semester’s efforts here: http://hosting.soundslides.com/hg586/  The very first tower shown in the slideshow is the best of the bunch.  Some exceptional work!

Sadly Technical Writing is one of the classes to fall by the way with our curriculum revamp, so this group has set the standard all-time for the best ever Tower of Power!


About Rob Sterner

English teacher, Film buff, Filmmaker, Writer, Musician, Photographer, Runner, Taoist, Thinker, List maker...


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