Day 1 – Marshmallow Standards Based Grading Edition

We only have thirty minute classes on our first day. Last year it was demo day, this year I’m using it to introduce the sbg component of my class. I heard about the marshmallow challenge this summer in #chemchat and thought it might be a great way to start the year. Www.marshmallowchallenge.com Essentially, each group gets stands of spaghetti, a marshmallow, tape and string. Then they are instructed to construct the tallest free standing structure where the marshmallow is placed on top. They only have 18 min to do it. Most spend at least 10min building before ever trying to see if it can hold the marshmallow. And almost always their first structure fails. So in the end I ask them why do we test standards often and early? Why do they get to retake the quizzes on these standards? I’m hoping this shows them the importance of testing early and often before the exams take place.

The best structure was actually 71.5 cm tall! Most were smaller. Here are some pics:

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