I wanted to begin with something relatively simple, that didn't require too much prep and that could be completed in a short amount of time. I also needed my MakerSpace activities to be relatively self-directed, as I'm usually doing something else at the time. I started with an activity I found from Creekside Learning called "How Strong is a Piece of Paper". Initially I thought I could have students make the three different kinds of paper towers, rectangular, triangular, and cylindrical, but quickly discovered that if they weren't made with care the test didn't run correctly. So I ended up making the towers for students. I decided to create a Google form where students recorded findings and created these instructions to guide them to the form and through the process. I was surprised at how interested the kids were and that they were so excited to share their results. Some of the results were a bit wonky as students haphazardly stacked books on columns that had already been used, but for the most part it worked. I enjoyed reading what surprised them most.
I will have to figure out how to include more students in this process. They were excited, engaged, and we all had fun. Thank you to the parents willing to donate items for us to take apart and the handy tools that made this project possible!