The Science and Mathematics of Building Structuresby: Cindy Hoisington, Robin Moriarty, Ingrid Chalufour, Jeff Winokur, and Karen Worth

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Everyday activities—like building with blocks—can be the basis for meaningful learning that meets national educational standards in science and mathematics. Preschool students played with different kinds of building blocks and were encouraged to share their observations about which kinds of materials were best for building strong structures.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:41 AM

Students address both science inquiry and math processes by building structures to create the tallest one they can. After checking the national science standards the room is set to encourage building activities. This is done by putting out trade books about structures and increasing the block section of the room. As one reads through this article, one learns how teacher’s questions can effect student exploration and outcomes. Encouraging young children to count their blocks to measure how tall a structure is encourages both the gathering of data and counting skills.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:57 PM

This article about young children building with blocks is an excellent example of STEM implementation in the elementary grades. Ingrid Chaffour and colleagues demonstrated how preschool children develop inquiry skills as they try to build tall towers with the blocks. There is also a Venn diagram explaining the integration of math and science.

Kathy Renfrew  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy Renfrew (Barnet, VT)

  • on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:45 AM

This article describes how a preschool class spent an entire year of school learning about building. The classroom was outfitted with all kinds of building materials and students were challenged to preform tasks such as building the tallest tower. These tasks were guided by the children's natural interests.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

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