Our third grade scientists are in the middle of a unit on plate tectonics (the study of the plate movements beneath the earth’s surface). The boys built structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows with the goal of building a tower that can withstand an earthquake.
The boys drew up architectural plans first and engineered designs that could be flexible and sturdy at the same time. Once the six-inch towers were complete, the class took turns putting their construction through a simulated earthquake. Mr. Manczuk placed the towers on a board with marbles underneath and then vigorously shook the board.
The boys had a great time building their projects and then watching them survive the earthquake test. One boy remarked, “This is so much fun--seriously.” Clearly the study of the earth’s layers provides endless enjoyment. After earthquakes, the boys will move on to studying what contributes to volcanic eruptions.
With a twinkle in his eye, Lach R. shared a joke with his fellow scientists: “What did one tectonic plate say to the other plate when they bumped into each other? Sorry it was my fault.” If you don’t get that joke, be sure to ask a St. B’s third grader to explain it to you.