T.A. Dugger students use commonplace materials to build their knowledge

10:00 am | October 4, 2013

Marshmallows and toothpicks aren’t exactly ideal foundation materials, but students at T.A. Dugger Junior High School Photo by Brandon Hicksput them together to create self-supporting towers that could carry a little additional weight.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students in Doug Mitchell’s STEM class were given 50 marshmallows and 100 toothpicks and put to work.

The tower was required to have a 5-inch-by-5-inch base, and needed to stand on its own. After the towers were built, a quarter would be placed on top to see if the structure could support extra weight.

Mitchell said the project used basic math and engineering concepts and put basic construction concepts to work. The project is a part of the science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – curriculum.

Eighth-grade student Cassidy Stover was hard at work Thursday morning trying to balance a landing spot for the quarter at the top of her marshmallow and toothpick tower.

“I am trying to get this in place to have a balance for the coin so the tower doesn’t collapse,” Stover said.

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