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  • Angie O'Malley

STEAM Challenge: Ski Jumpers

Fourth grade had a STEAM Challenge last week. They needed to create a ramp system that allowed a skier (a marble) to roll down the ramp and achieve the furthest jump. Students were to record the distance of air time, which was to be measured from the end of the ramp to the spot the marble first touches the ground. Students started by watching Olympic Ski Jumping and learning about the techniques and science involved, including balance and weight distribution. Next they were given their materials to design: 1 large foam sheet, 3’ of duct tape, 1 stool, unlimited construction paper, scissors, a marble, and a yardstick for measurement. Students were to take three trails then make an improvement to their system. They would do another three trial runs and make another improvement. They were busy for a full hour building and improving their designs and I think could have done this even longer if they were allowed. I was really proud of how well they worked in a team- collaborating, taking turns, and really listening and implementing each others ideas.

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