Snowmen, Sled, and Slope

This seasonally appropriate STEAM challenge puts math, engineering, and science skills to the test. Student teams collaborate to build and test a sled and slope that will safely transport a snowman the greatest possible distance. Using a given set of materials, and working within a time constraint, students share, discuss, and agree upon a plan. After measuring and recording data, students reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Next comes a redesign and retest, and then students present and discuss their results.

Faculty: Janice Schmitt - Math 6

Dates Offered

December 7, 2018
January 18, 2019

Explore More

Interested in exploring this topic more deeply?

  • Movie night: The ultimate real-life engineering challenge occurred on Apollo 13 when an oxygen tank exploded mid-flight. Tom Hanks plays astronaut Jim Lovell in this inspiring depiction of the 1970 space flight. A copy of the DVD is available for checkout in the MS Media Center.

  • Documentary: Macgillivray Freeman’s IMAX movie Dream Big: Engineering the World “is not only a journey through engineering’s greatest wonder, but equally a tale of human grit and the triumph of human ingenuity over life’s greatest challenges.” A copy of the DVD of the documentary is available for checkout in the MS Media Center.

  • Day trip: The Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on March 2 and 3, 2019. Details available here.

Why Build?

Research by the Rand Corporation confirms “STEM education will be critical to 21st-century success for individuals, communities, organizations, and nations.” This seminar’s engineering challenge develops critical thinking, problem solving abilities, and application of math concepts.