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FIRST LEGO LEAGUE Core Values Activity – THE LAST STRAW

The Trash Trek challenge with the 9-year-old wondering about disposable straws offered by restaurants has me thinking about straws too, so here is a challenge using a box of straws.  Prep is easy – just pick up a box of straws the next time you’re at the grocery store.  Disposal isn’t so simple anymore, though – how will the team dispose of the straws?  How should they dispose of the straws?  Get them thinking about how to handle this one item of trash.  It might lead them to a great idea for the research project.

THIS WEEK’S CORE VALUES CHALLENGE:
THE LAST STRAW

Materials:
30 straws
Masking tape (for marking purposes only; the tape may not be used to construct the tower)
Scissors (for construction only; the scissors may not be part of the tower)

Setup:
Use masking tape to mark a 12″ x 12″ square on the floor.

Instructions to the team:
Your task is to build a tower that is as tall as possible made only of straws. You will have two minutes to discuss your strategy. During this time, you may not touch any of the straws. You will then have five minutes to build your tower within the taped square.

Variations: Provide as many pairs of scissors as you have team members. Does this change their strategy? Does it help them work together or encourage team members to go off on their own?

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