G/T students kicked off the 2016-2017 school year, excited to explore new STEM challenges. Although these activities are short in duration, STEM challenges are one of the most anticipated and highly requested of our learning opportunities! As students tackle these challenges, not only are they honing critical thinking skills, but they are strengthening crucial skills of collaboration, communication, and team building as well.
Our first challenge of the year was to create the longest chain possible with only one piece of construction paper, one pair of scissors, and twelve inches of painter's tape.
The Paper Chain Challenge prompted powerful conversations about use of materials and time as well as how best to capitalize on the strengths of the team. After reflecting upon their thinking and evaluating the execution of plans, students had the opportunity to revisit the challenge, restructuring teams and revising use of materials as needed. Students were surprised when comparing chain lengths from the first attempt to those of the second attempts. One student remarked, "The second time we did the challenge, we were able to focus on greater progress because we had refined the process!"