The marshmallow experiment

WSW: Marshmallow ExperimentToday was our last Wacky Science Wednesday of the summer! It’s hard to believe our summer went by so quickly. We had less activity days than last year, with multiple trips and a day to go see Finding Dory mixed in to our Wednesdays. For this last day we did innovation and group work, two things that as a teacher, I think is SUPER important for kids to learn early and work with often….

We started out our day with drawing and coloring Pokemon characters. With the start of Pokemon Go, Pokemon is a big topic among the boys, and right now they all want to be either Ash or Pikachu for Halloween. They’ve been watching the original series on Netflix, so it was a good opportunity for them to get together and draw and create Pokemon characters. This was our mini group work project leading up to the larger group work project later. Their only task was they had to draw something the reminded them of Pokemon and they had to sit together to do it:

WSW: Marshmallow Experiment

Here are their completed projects:

WSW: Marshmallow ExperimentI want to take a moment to highlight that the one in the top left is my nephew J’s drawing. It looks really good, right? He drew that left handed because he broke his right arm at basketball camp. #impressive #ambidextrous

So later on in the day I handed them two bags of marshmallows, a bunch of toothpicks and told them that they first needed to build a five marshmallow structure and then they had to connect them all together. They loved this idea at first…

WSW: Marshmallow Experiment WSW: Marshmallow ExperimentThen they started to run into roadblocks with getting it to stand up. A and my nephew J ended up leaving to go draw a blueprint of the plan, J happily stuck all the toothpicks he could find in one marshmallow and then set it on top, and my nephew M ended up building an entire structure on his own after the younger boys wouldn’t follow his directions. I’m not going to say I could write a paper on this, but I could totally write a paper on this. The dynamics and group issues they had were on point with the ones I see in my college courses.

Afterwards we watched this video:

I know what you’re probably thinking. No way are kids aged ten and under watching a Ted Talk. But they did! And afterward we discussed what went right and what went wrong in our own experiment, and how they could work together better for another project. Oh and the person that had the best idea? My nephew J, who created a prototype and then suggested they create platforms of four by four marshmallows to hold the rest of the structure. He just graduated from Kindergarten by the way (it’ll make sense after you watch the video).

WSW: Marshmallow Experiment

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