Teacher’s Talk: Problems You Have Never Solved Before – Day 1

To welcome VAMPY Campers to our class, “Problems You Have Never Solved Before,” campers were presented with their first challenge: a scavenger hunt to find Catherine!  This scavenger hunt required campers to solve a series of puzzles in order to receive a clue about the next location.  Collectively, campers had to put together their clues in order to determine the next location.  Several puzzles later, students found Catherine!

Next, students engaged in a tower building project.  They utilized five sheets of paper and one foot of masking tape to build their tower.  Campers then tested the strengths of their towers by determining the number of textbooks it would support.  On first attempts, some experienced difficulties.  However, students were given a reflection period where they were able to assess their previous design, learn from other groups, and create a new paper tower.  Paper towers were tested again, and overall, they were more successful!

Using this first building project, Catherine engaged students in a discussion about the engineering design process.  As a class, campers developed a list of steps outlining this process.  Students will utilize this when beginning future projects.