First grade students build math skills with plastic cups

    Two first grade boys build the tallest structure they can out of plastic cups.Cups aren’t just something you drink out of. First grade students in Mead Elementary School’s STEM program used cups and craft sticks to build the tallest structures they could. Then, teacher Jaclyn Donald added constraints to the team-building activity: She challenged students to make the tallest structures they could with the fewest number of cups. Next, she asked them to use only 25 cups without other materials. Donald said the activity teaches students engineering and math skills while they are counting, measuring and comparing numbers. The students also focused on vocabulary words: challenge, constraint, greater than and less than.