This past Friday we held a Card Tower STEM challenge for the whole third grade. We handed out cooperative grouping cards in order to assign each student to a group of 3. Then each group got a deck of 52 cards (we removed all jokers and extra cards so each deck was equal). We explained the rules: everyone must participate, treat everyone and their ideas with respect, and stay in one spot. We told them they would have 15 minutes to build a tower together and there would be awards for the tallest, widest, and most creative towers. Then they set off to work.
They all had different strategies and it was fun to see their problem solving skills in action! The ones going for most creative had some great ideas! We had one group create a tower that resembled a person, another was a multi-room house, and our winner was a sunburst design.
At the end, we measured the tallest and widest towers with a yard stick. Then the three third grade teachers walked around and voted on the most creative tower. Then we gathered the students together for the “award ceremony”. We announced the awards for the tallest, widest, and most creative card towers. Then we allowed the students to carefully walk around to look at the other students’ towers. They had a great time and the whole activity took around 30 minutes with very minimal prep! Want to hold your own card tower contest? Click on the certificates below to download an editable card tower certificate!