Advancing STEM Challenges are designed to bring engineering and design to your classroom in a simple, easy-to-implement, challenge-based way. Modify our Advancing STEM Challenges for your classroom.
Did you know snowflakes generally are hexagonal structures because of the chemical bonding that occurs within the water as it freezes? or that each snowflake is unique? Do you know what kind of snowflake falls the fastest or slowest through the air? Your job is to find out this last question! The task is to design a prototype snowflake using paper and scissors. Once you've built your snowflake prototype, you can test it out by dropping it from different heights and using a stopwatch to time which design falls the fastest or slowest.
Your snowflake design does have some criteria and constraints. Every snowflake created has to be from the same origami template (see step-by-step instructions with pictures here: http://www.origamiway.com/how-to-make-paper-snowflakes.shtml). There has to be a 1cm border on the top and bottom that cannot be cut. At least three areas have to be cut out from the template. The snowflake should be dropped from the same height every time, held open with two hands, and held horizontal (flat) to the floor for fair trials. You and your group should try to design a snowflake following these guidelines that falls the fastest or slowest.
Hints and Tips for Success