Monday, February 11, 2019

Cupid's Blow Dart STEM Challenge

This year's Midwest winter has been brutal.  Between piles of snow and ice storms, school has been called off early, delayed or cancelled more times than the entire time I worked at the high school. To keep Xander from going stir crazy, I proposed this Valentine's Day STEM challenge to him. 
The idea came from a game we are playing at his school party where the kids use straws to blow Q-Tips at some plastic cups.  I found the lightest plastic cups at the store and added some paper hearts to make them pretty (totally unnecessary). 
For Xander's Challenge, I gave him a handful of straws, some masking tape and a couple sheets of scratch paper.  His goal was to create the straw that would allow him to hit down cups from the farthest back.
He tried cutting down the straws, taping some straws together and attaching paper to the end of the straw.  I also encouraged him to play with where he put the Q-Tip in the straw before he blew.  I could not find any of the fat smoothie straws, but those would be a great addition to see how diameter affects the force.  The trick in experimenting, was that he had to try to blow with the same force every time.
It turned out to be a quick and easy challenge to keep him occupied for a while.  I am interested to see what he does with his findings when he gets to the party at school!

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