Some groups opted for the strategy of building high, while others kept their creations small with the goal of holding the most weight. After finishing and before testing their final results, each group gave a mini-presentation on how they came up with their end product. They detailed their original idea, what worked and what didn’t work. Finally, everyone took estimates of how much weight they thought their structures would hold. Their enrichment supervisor, Morgan Layton, then told the students she had a dollar that they would use to test the structures. Students automatically shouted out “Of course my structure can hold a dollar!” and “That’s so light!” but were shocked when she actually pulled out 100 pennies revealing her “dollar.”
Overall Mrs. Layton was pleasantly surprised by the creations and how many pennies each one ended up holding. What’s more important though are the valuable lessons our second graders were able to take away from this activity: innovation, teamwork, creativity and effective communication. We are always amazed at the effort, imaginations, and hard work of our students, as well as their hunger for knowledge and the opportunity to grow. If anything, our second graders are a testament to this unique quality held by every one of our students.