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Instant Challenge ~ Cup Holder

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We joined along again this week for the second Instant Challenge hosted by Michelle @ Delightful Learning. Our challenge this week? Create a structure that would hold 2 cups.

The materials:

  • 6 straws
  • 1 piece of paper
  • piece of tinfoil
  • 3 mailing labels
  • 2 paperclips
  • 2 pieces of string
  • 1 envelope
  • 2 chenille sticks

Since the girls had a successful attempt last week, and are starting to get into the routine of the challenges, this one was a LOT easier to explain and get going. During the building time, both girls worked independently on different parts of the challenge.

McKenna worked on building the ‘deck’ for the bridge of the structure. She used the tinfoil, paper, envelope and the paper clips to put her piece together.

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Laurianna worked on building the frame of the structure. She attached one end of each of the straws to a penny so that it would stabilize the straws. She then poked pipe cleaners into the straws to connect them together. Once she had the two main ‘arches’ built, she used the extra 2 straws to support the top of the bridge, tying them on with the string.

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When McKenna had finished her top piece they carefully laid it on top of the main support. So far, so good!

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Their next test {before the 7 minute building part was complete} was to see if it would support any weight, so they used the leftover penny to check.

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Here’s a little look at the structure from underneath. Not the most beautiful, but when you’re using straws and tinfoil…what do you expect? :)

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The big test was seeing if it would support the two cups and getting them as far apart as possible. SUCCESS!!!

Cup Holder test

Our Score:

  • 10/10 points for having a completed boat at the end of Part One.
  • 20/20 points for creativity in using the materials ~ they found a use for everything!
  • 13 points for how far each cup was from the table {1 point for each inch and they were each 6.5 inches off the table}
  • 18 points for how far apart the cups were {2 points for each inch and they were 9 inches apart}
  • 20/20 points for teamwork. I was impressed that they each worked on their own tasks to complete the project together!

Overall Score: 81/100

We’re gearing up for the next challenge: High Flying! “Up for a Challenge?” is a weekly meme designed to get students involved in critical thinking and creative problem solving by doing an Instant Challenge. If you are interested in being a part of the Instant Challenges, you can find out more here.

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Instant Challenge ~ Boat Race

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We joined along again this week for the second Instant Challenge hosted by Michelle @ Delightful Learning. Our challenge this week? Make a boat, have it FLOAT, and race it!

The materials:

  • 3 straws
  • 10 craft sticks
  • 3 Styrofoam cups
  • 3 marshmallows
  • 1 piece of string
  • 1 piece of foil
  • 3 mailing labels
  • 2 chenille sticks
  • 1 piece of paper

I am ever so pleased to announce that this challenge went much more smoothly than the first one ~ as in there was much sibling cooperation and happiness. {yeah!}

We set up two separate tables this time ~ one for building the actual boat and then one for the ‘test zone’ where we put the boat in the water. The girls had two minutes to talk through their building plan with each other.

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Once they had a set plan in place {it took less than the 2 minutes}, they started working together to build their boat. Laurianna worked on the base of the boat, folding the paper into a basket shape while McKenna ripped the mailing labels in strips so they had more pieces to secure the corners.

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When the base of the boat was done, they wrapped it in tinfoil so that the water wouldn’t seep onto the paper and make it wet.

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To help give the boat a little added float power, they poked the three marshmallows through the center with the straws and formed a triangle shape for the boat to ‘sit’ on top of. To help the boat stay on top of the marshmallow raft, they tied it around the boat using the piece of string.

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The craft sticks were used to reinforce the bottom of the boat and they used one of the cups as a ‘boathouse’ of sorts, sticking one of the chenille stems as a mast and using the paper the mailing labels came on as a sail.

Instant Challenge Boat Race

Test #1: Sea-worthy and floatable? CHECK!!

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Test #2: Will it race? YES!! They stayed well behind the line and it went across the water easily {and well!}.

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Our Score:

  • 10/10 points for having a completed boat at the end of Part One.
  • 25/30 points for speed on the water ~ it could have been a little faster!
  • 10/20 points for creativity in how the boat went across ~ the blowing wasn’t super creative, but it did get the job done!
  • 20/20 points for creativity in using materials. They used almost everything ~ two cups were left over, but they made good use of even the backing for the mailing labels.
  • 20/20 points for teamwork. This week was such a polar opposite from the last challenge. They did GREAT together!

Overall Score: 85/100

This challenge was a little easier for the girls overall, I think mainly because they understood it a lot better than last time too {easier to picture in their minds what was being asked}. They were excited that it even held several Little People and still floated around in the water…and so was Kaleb!

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We’re gearing up for the next challenge: Cup Holder! “Up for a Challenge?” is a weekly meme designed to get students involved in critical thinking and creative problem solving by doing an Instant Challenge. If you are interested in being a part of the Instant Challenges, you can find out more here.

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Instant Challenge: Build a Bridge

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We joined along this week in the Instant Challenge hosted by Michelle @ Delightful Learning. "Up for a Challenge?" is a weekly meme designed to get students involved in critical thinking and creative problem solving by doing an Instant Challenge. Our kids were so excited when I showed them the projects we were going to work on together. The plan was for Rick to work on them with us….but Mommy got a little carried away and did the first one solo with the kids.

Even though the second challenge has already been posted, we started with the first one: Bridge Builders. The project was set up on the dining room table and overall was a pretty big success ~ the biggest challenge was keeping everyone focused on the task at hand and soothing the rioting crowds {and trying to let the kids solve the problem without adding in my 2 cents…}.

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Laurianna actually did the majority of the bridge building on her own, since McKenna didn’t want to work as a team {which frustrated Laurianna to no end}. McKenna got a birthday phone call in the middle of the challenge, so Laurianna did the bulk of the building on her own.

DSC07528 The cards that made up the two pillars of the bridge were cut with scissors and wedged to fit together. Here’s the finished product:

DSC07523 The big question was: Would it support the weight of the nails??

DSC07527 We started counting up {getting nervous the more nails we added} ~ and guess what? We made it up to all TEN NAILS!!! YEAH!!!

Our Score {according to Mommy}:

  • 10/10 points for having a completed bridge at the end of Part One.
  • 50/50 points for being able to support the weight of all 10 nails {5 points per nail}
  • 10/20 points for creativity ~ it wasn’t super creative, but it did get the job done!
  • 5/20 points for teamwork {when McKenna was helping out} but I gave Laurianna a 20/20 because really she did it on her own

Overall score: 90/100 for Laurianna doing the project independently. 75/100 if we count it as a joint effort.

This was a great first project for us and we have the supplies on hand to work on the next challenge: Boat Race! If you are interested in being a part of the Instant Challenges, you can find out more here.

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