In celebration of the 100th Day of School, take the 100-penny-tower challenge!
- Index cards
- Masking tape
At-Home or In-Classroom Instructions
1. Sketch out possible designs for an index card tower that can hold 100 pennies.
2. Challenge yourself to make the tallest, most stable tower possible. Consider folding and rolling the cards in your tower.
3. Carefully place 100 cents, one penny at a time, on your tower. Note that the penny features Abraham Lincoln, the only president with a patent!
4. Once your tower is stable and complete, think back on what else you have accomplished in the first 100 days of the school year!
What are we learning?
This activity is an exploration in physics and creativity! The height that a structure can reach is largely determined by the location of its center of gravity. An object’s center of gravity is the point at which it is perfectly balanced. When one index card is placed on another at its center of gravity, the card balances. Adding pennies to a perfectly balanced tower may change the tower’s center of gravity.
When given a set of flat index cards to make a tower, it may not be readily apparent that folding or rolling the cards is an option. Applying creativity to science challenges is often the key to success. Using creative thinking skills or looking at a challenge in a new way is an important part of problem solving. Engineers must harness the power of STEM, creativity and critical thinking to solve problems.
To further celebrate your 100th day of school, check out our list of fun facts based on the number 100!