Tower challenges are great go-to STEAM activities that help kids explore, observe, create, inquire, and problem solve. When done in groups, they also help them learn how to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

For this challenge, kids will build a freestanding structure out of one deck of cards and earn points for the height and creativity of their structure. (You can find card decks at most dollar stores!) We also incorporated a “teamwork” element for siblings or a family that is solving the challenge together.

After completing the challenge, have your kids reflect on their experience using the Reflection Questions below.

Challenge: Build the tallest freestanding structure possible using only one deck of cards. No other materials (glue, tape, etc.) may be used to build your structure.

Materials: 1 deck of cards, 1 pair of scissors
The scissors may not be damaged and may not be used as part of the solution.

Time: 10 minutes

Scoring:
A. 10 points if the height of your structure measures between 4-9 inches
B. 15 points if the height of your structure measures between 10-15 inches
C. 20 points if the height of your structure measures 16 or more inches
D. Up to 20 points for the creativity of your structure
*E. Up to 20 points for how well your group worked together (*Only recommended for families/siblings during Covid-19 or for kids who are doing this challenge virtually with friends)

Reflection Questions:

  1. What was the hardest part of the challenge?
  2. If you could try the challenge again, what would you do differently?
  3. How did your group work well together?

 

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