Sixth graders from the advanced science classes in the Westerville City School District took part in the seventh annual Middle School 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 one minute while using the least amount of materials given a mock budget.
The first place winning team from Blendon, with a tower of 67 cm, was built by Evan Boyd, Carter Ward, Peyton Householder, and Brady Bithell (taught by Jeffrey Murdock). Not far behind in second place was the tower built by Ryan Dunbar, Christian Harkins, Ruzian Jalloh, and Daria Lesmerises from Genoa Middle School (taught by Carla Gilbert). A strong third place was earned by Ethan Garner, Keith Hehl, Clementine Metz and Anna Morris from Heritage Middle School (taught by Amy Freeman). Finally, a close fourth place-winning tower was earned by Bryn Wright, Mariah Chaffin and Rachel Harvey from Walnut Springs Middle School (taught by Allison Simpson). The design challenge is supported by the Science and Gifted Education Departments.