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Building Bridges with Index Cards

We got a little index card crazy today! The kids were challenged to build a bridge using only index cards and scissors, stuff we all have just laying around the classroom! We used the STEM pack from Teachers are Terrific.
First, we did some mini experiments with one index card and markers to balance. This was so the kids could understand the weight of one penny compared to ten or more.  Students did some preplanning for their own tower next!
I pulled sticks to put them in groups. I gave them fifty index cards and set the timer, which I later found out wasn't needed. Their bridge had to support at least ten pennies and be built across two reading books. 
These guys had accordion folded some index cards for the bottom. Then they tore their index cards to make the top part! Pretty smart I thought!
They were the first ones to accomplish the task!
They had to then tell me why their bridge was a success. The ones who couldn't quite get it figured out had to tell me why it wouldn't work.
I think it was really because they went a little folding crazy! This was such a fun activity. The groups that succeed were not the ones I expected. The ones who I expected to get it right away, never did get their bridge to work! It was a great way for students to show off their skills that aren't always utilized in the classroom. I loved it!

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