All About That Base

January 4, 2021

Wheeler Avenue Students Take Part in the ‘Tin Foil Challenge’

Students at Wheeler Avenue School in Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen learned it was “all about the base”! Fifth grade students in Mrs. L’Heureux’s class recently participated in an engaging STEM experiment to understand the basics of the engineering design process.

Students were given the challenge of building the tallest freestanding tower possible only using tin foil, not the roll or the box it came in and the tower had to stand on its own. The wider the base, the more stable the tower. The students also realized if the tower height was too tall, it would tip over.

At the end of the time given, Mrs. L’Heureux measured each tower at the students’ desks and combined the heights. The goal was to be in the row of desks with the tallest combined tower height. After individually measuring the freestanding towers, Mrs. L’Heureux wrote the measurements on the board by row, so students could add their row up to determine the winning row. The winning row had a total tower height of 139 ¼ inches.

Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen continuously seeks to incorporate STEM into daily curriculum so that students can develop a set of thinking, teamwork, investigative, and creative skills that they can use in all areas of their lives.