Two years ago we were studying shapes and I introduced this activity. It was a huge hit. Who wouldn’t love to build with marshmallows? As we revisited this project last week, it started a more in-depth study in geometry. We were making shapes within shapes. Naming them, finding the hidden ones, and shading them in with a Sharpie.

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As we built, the project evolved into architecture for some builders. Buildings were erected.

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Then a bridge was constructed.

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They tried to bridge the tables but it began to fall apart, so they ingeniously built an underlying structure to hold it up.

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The completely unspoken cooperation during this joint bridge project was so beautiful!

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Then we started talking about how some of our structures looked like molecular structures. We took a look at the periodical table and their molecular models.

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We started making simple molecular structures like H2O and CO2.

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Then we found a more intricate structure – caffeine.

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Jacob wanted to give it a try.

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And we have – caffeine!

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So much thought, ideas and fun happened during this project. I love when one ideas spurs the kids to follow their own ideas and turn one activity into another. We’re just here to do the research for them – to print out the molecular models or fetch sharpies from the teacher alley. They took this simple idea and literally ran with it!

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