Our end-of-year schedule included an amusing burp this year. It came on the last Thursday of the year. Students in periods 1-4 had already had their final exams on Tuesday and Wednesday, and students in periods 5 and 6 would have their final exam on Friday. All students in all classes met on Thursday.
What to do?
Give each lab group a single sheet of colored 8.5"x11" paper, a pair of scissors, and a table-width length of masking tape (about 2 feet), along with the directive to use those materials to construct a free-standing tower of maximum height.
Only the paper and the tape could comprise the tower (not the scissors). The tower has to stand for 5 seconds while its height (from the table top) was measured. The tower had to stand freely on the table (not taped down; not suspended from the ceiling or dropped outlets). Each group is given a distinct color of paper, no two are the same. (This helps with the integrity.)
One point of extra credit was to be awarded for every full inch of the tower's vertical height.
Our tallest tower this year was 57 inches tall. (I conjoin two meterstick/yardsticks and sometimes need to stand on a chair to get the measurement. I also turn off the HVAC) In the past, I believe the tallest tower we've ever had was 63 inches. Not bad for a single sheet of letter paper.
The students tend to be motivated, and it was a great activity for an otherwise throwaway day. And it's photogenic.
2014 05 Tower