Looking for a STEM activity to chase away the winter blues? Look no further! My students loved doing this Rooftop Challenge! This Project Based Learning activity was so much fun! I think maybe it had something to do with pouring flour..."snow"...on the PBL roofs that we built!The project asks students to design a roof that will hold up to heavy "snow" (flour).
We started our project off with some research. There are tons of news videos on Youtube about roofs collapsing due to snow. This really got my students excited! I also had them look for different roof types and do a Venn Diagram on similarities and differences.
Students then got a look at the materials and made plans for their own roof designs.
They filled out materials requests, calculated building materials' costs, and began building.
So many different ideas and concepts!
The most fun part of the project is getting to test out your roof! I know what you're thinking...yes, I kind of got "snow" everywhere! Be sure to keep a broom handy because it can get slippery just like real snow. But the fun we had was worth it!
We had some epic fails and some interesting successes. The students loved seeing the effects of the snow on the roofs. (I cut out the side of the shoe box so they could see better.)
What do you do when no group "gets" the real lesson? Not one of the groups of my students made a roof with a high slope. It was so interesting to watch. So I folded a triangle of construction paper and put it on our "house". Of course it failed. But, students were so willing to "help" me make my project better. We tweaked it a couple of times and came up with this roof:
With this roof, students could actually see the snow sliding off the sides. What a great "Ahhh haaaa" moment!
Want to get in on the fun? Check out my Rooftop Challenge on TPT! I also have lots of other Project-based STEM challenges!