This is our traditional beginning-of-year STEM Friday activity: Saving Sam! This activity not only promotes teamwork, but requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
This Week’s Challenge
Use the materials provided to put life jacket on Sam, the gummy worm, without him falling into the water.
Materials (per partner/group)
- One gummy worm
- One gummy lifesaver
- One clear, plastic cup
- Large paper clips (2-3)
- Students will be in pairs.
- Students may NOT touch “Sam,” the “life jacket,” or the “boat.”
- Students may only touch the paper clips. They are allowed to bend them.
- Students are NOT to poke “Sam” with the paper clips.
- Set up: Place gummy lifesaver under cup (the cup is flipped over) and place gummy worm on top.
- The goal: Students want to get the “life jacket” from under the “boat” and onto him using only the paperclips.
For our very first cooperative learning activity, teams worked really well together sharing ideas and not giving up. Dylan and Maddie were the first to figure out how to get the life jacket on Sam, but struggled with actually getting him in. After many unsuccessful trials, I decided to make it a little easier by letting the pairs work in table groups and giving the groups 2 more paperclips. This was the result:
Great job, friends!