Ms. Sharon Sanders’ 4th grade class discussed problem-solving and the different problem-solving approaches. We all have problems to solve every day whether they be big or little problems—-what to wear to school, what lunch choice to make, where do I go to college, how do I answer that test question, etc…..
The students worked with a partner to fill out a handout about the activity and the scientific method…the problem, collecting information, their hypothesis, the steps to solve the problem, correct/incorrect hypothesis, conclusion.
The activity consisted of a cup (boat), 4 paper clips, a gummy worm (Fred), and a gummy Lifesaver (life preserver. Fred was sailing along on his boat when a gust of wind blew it upside-down. Fred ended up on top of the upside-down boat.
Unfortunately, his life preserver was trapped under the boat. The students had to place the life preserver around Fred’s body without falling into the sea (onto the table) or injuring Fred. The tricky part was that they could only use the paper clips to touch anything. Poor Fred!
Will he be saved, or will he drown? That is the problem!