As part of a STEM project, third-graders at St. Benedict School have been incorporating some of the laws of physics in designing Ziggurat Marble Runs. Working in groups of approximately four students, using only popsicle sticks and glue, they have been challenged to create a multi-storied temple like structure. Marbles can travel up, down and around - even inside the structure. Students were given time in class, provided a set of parameters and even specific dimensions, to complete their structures. Winners are chosen based on the most complex working marble run.
Third-grade teachers Allison Parker and Katie Agostino agree that this is one of the most challenging STEM projects they have undertaken. There is a great deal of trial and error with evaluations and restructuring along the way, but once complete students have a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.