"You're BRAVER than you believe,
STRONGER than you seem,
and SMARTER than you think."
-A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Friday, January 9, 2015

Creating the Tallest Pyramid: STEM Challenge

My Eaton is such a self-directed individual. It helps me so much with his homeschooling.
Today, Eaton saw some paper cups on the table I prepared for this activity. He was so excited seeing them as he already had some plans for it right when he approached me. But he politely asked if they are for any homeschooling activities.

I said: "Yes, I thought about building the tallest tower using these cups."
He said: "What about building pyramids with different base shapes?"
I said: "Sure, let's try that instead."

So, that is what he worked today on.

First he divided paper sheet into 3 parts for 3 different pyramids.

Then, he started his project with square based pyramid (5 x 5). He measured the heights of that pyramid and recorded the results on the sheet of paper. It was 19 inches high.
 Then, he created second pyramid: triangle base. Not much of that is seeing over here ;-)

He measured it and it was 25 inches tall.
Actually, triangular pyramid was the nicest to look at, but I don't have a picture of it. What a bummer!
 After that Eaton tried really hard to create a hexagonal pyramid but every time he tried the circle appeared. After all he worked with cups ;-) So he ended up creating a cone instead of pyramid. As we know a pyramid is a 3-dimensional solid in which the base is a polygon, so circle didn't fit that definition but he continued his project as he wanted to see final results.

He started with a circle that was way too big as we didn't have enough cups.

He made a smaller circle

 and from there it was much easier to build the rest

He measured it and recorded like in previous examples: 24 inches tall

At the end Eaton concluded that the tallest structure was a triangle base pyramid measuring 25 inches in heights. Square base pyramid was the most stable one, and the cone was the hardest structure to build but he enjoyed that the most.

Overall it was Eaton's idea for the project and he felt fulfilled after doing it. 

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