Saturday, January 23, 2016

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Eiffel Tower STEM Challenge!

Our Eiffel Tower STEM Challenge is loads of fun and brings together fine motor skills, practical engineering, math, and creativity!

We built our Eiffel towers as part of our France-themed geography day.  We talked a little bit about the tower's location, history, and size--this page has a thorough background that includes in-progress pictures of the tower being built!  Here are a few fun facts:

* The Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world when it was built!
* It took several years to build the Eiffel Tower!
* The Eiffel Tower was completed over 100 years ago, in 1889!
* Prominent artists at the time protested the Eiffel Tower being built because they thought it would look bad and distract from France's other landmarks!
* The Eiffel Tower is now a French icon!

I wanted to provide materials that the kids could use to build their own Eiffel Towers, but still personalize and use their own creativity and discretion as they worked.  My favorite aspects of STEM are the creation and integration of science, technology, engineering, and math.  I wanted the right tools to set their minds on fire, but not overwhelm them.

I settled on these

Simple Supplies:

* paperclips
* toothpicks
* slotted craft sticks
* hot glue guns
* paper plates (or another surface to build on)

They were so excited they could hardly hold still for the safety discussion!

Easy How To:

1- Discuss the Eiffel Tower and look at pictures.

2- Review hot glue gun safety.

3- Hand out the supplies and let your children get to work!  They will create wonderful and beautiful sculptures.  Just give them time and space to work.

Some kids used only toothpicks, some used only paperclips, some used only craftsticks, but most used a combination.

I did this with a group of homeschool children that were in PreK-3rd grade.  My youngest preschoolers and a couple of the 5-year olds needed help with the glue gun.  Make sure to supervise sufficiently!  Young children should never be alone with a glue gun!  I have found that most young children can safely handle a low-temperature glue gun and really enjoy creating things with them.

Do you have your next science activity planned?  I have over 100 science and STEM experiments and projects for you!!  Check them out here!

And be sure to visit the other STEM Saturday posts:

STEM Saturday.jpg

Best Structure Building Activities for Kids from Little Bins for Little Hands
Eiffel Tower STEM Challenge from Preschool Powol Packets
A Heart Shaped Math Puzzle from Handmade Kids Art
Valentines Themed Density Jar Experiment for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures

Happy Educating, Carla

I may share at any of these parties!

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