How to get kids interested in science


Code Green

“I just heard from the president
on our red emergency phone,”
I explain,
“Yes, we do have a red emergency phone
for just such situations.
He warned me that an earthquake is headed this way
and we, like famed Obi-Wan in episode IV,
are the school’s only hope.

“You sixth graders are the most important
students in Manhattan right now.
Your mission is to prepare the classroom
to withstand the upcoming seismic waves.
Today, you have the opportunity to be school’s saviors.
The eighth graders will cheer your names in the hallways.
The high schoolers will probably not bully you for a week.

“Your job, working in groups of three,
is to create an earthquake-resistant structure
at least 50 cm high
with only the materials on your lab desks.
That means no hover boards,
electromagnetic pulses or magic rubber bands
that you brought from home.
Be sure to diagram your process and
draw and label your structure
in case the president needs your blueprints
for another emergency.
You have 45 minutes.
Good luck.”

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