Sixth graders from advanced science classes in the Westerville City School District took part in the annual Straw Tower Design Challenge, a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiative. Teams of students were asked to work in small groups to build the tallest straw tower possible capable of supporting the weight of a tennis ball for at least a minute, while using the least amount of materials given a mock budget.
First place winner was Heritage Middle School, with a tower of 20 inches, built by Eli Tansy, Andrew Adams, James Weaver, and Ethan Lin from (taught by Mary Schade). Second place went to Zach House, Finnian Mitchell, L.M., and Caden Edmunds from Genoa Middle School (taught by Carla Gilbert) with a tower standing 19 inches tall. Third place was earned by Ryan Poulson, Luke Eash, Eden Dempsey-Baddeley, and James Rich from Blendon Middle School, who built a tower standing 17 and 3/4 cm (taught by Jeffery Murdock). Coming in a close fourth, with a tower at 17 ½ cm, were Gabe Ryjewski, Mason Marrow and Zique Hunter from Walnut Springs Middle School (taught by Kim Neal).
Westerville City Schools’ Science and Gifted Education departments support the design challenge.