By: Isabella Garcia-Ding and Reem Fakhoury
The freshmen class started their year in Algebra with marshmallows, dried spaghetti and tape! Although these might be some interesting ingredients for an odd dish, they were actually supplies for a challenging activity. The freshmen were challenged with an activity where they had to produce the tallest freestanding tower they could by using limited resources. They were given only 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, 3 feet of masking tape and 1 marshmallow. As a team, the students had to work together and apply the four steps to problem solving which are: investigating the problem, creating a plan on how they would attack the problem, taking action and finally reflecting on the tower and how they did.
By the end of the day, all of the freshmen algebra classes had completed this activity. The results were that 4th period had achieved the highest tower out of the 7 freshmen classes. They were able to get their tower to stand on its own at 28 inches. 2nd period, however, had the shortest winner at 9.5 inches.
Our thoughts on this activity are that it was a very fun and exciting activity to start out the year. It was a great way to get to know our other classmates; also it was an amazing way to teach us how to work with each other. It also showed us how to apply the four skills that we will need throughout our high school experience and most likely in the rest of our lives. We feel the activity went very well because as we learned math, we also learned team building skills such as communication and collaboration. Rather than our first week being filled with tons of worksheets and textbooks, we did multiple activities such as this one and we experienced a fun time at Roberto Clemente thus far.