Sixth graders from the advanced science classes took part in the first annual Straw Tower Challenge, a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiative. Teams of students were asked to design and build the tallest straw tower possible capable of supporting the weight of a tennis ball for up to one minute, for no more than $10,000 in building materials (straws - $200 a piece/limit 50 and masking tape - $100 an inch/limit three feet). The winning team was determined by the lowest total cost of their tower but the tallest tower built.
First place district winners are from Genoa Middle School. Students Liam Holub, Evan Radecki, and Haroon Jilan built a tower with a cost of $122.58 per inch (teacher: Jessica Meginnis). Walnut Springs came in at a close second. Students Alex Fletcher, Connor Dziatkowicz and Aryan Thakur built a tower costing $224 per inch (teacher: Brittany Green). Blendon winners are Cassie Reichart, Aidan Mukavetz, and Alec Buck with a cost of $294.44 per inch (teacher: Angie Crego). Heritage winners are Kayla Cochran, Catherine Adams, Josie Patil, and Madison Foreman. Cost based on height was $555.55 per inch (teacher: Mary Milchen).
Thanks to building gifted facilitators, Lisa Huelskamp (Blendon and Walnut) and Debbie Pellington (Heritage and Genoa), the Gifted Education Department, and the Science Department for supporting this initiative.