Under Construction: Students Explore Elements of Engineering


Marshmallows, plastic cups, paperclips and clothespins. What do all of these things have in common? Students in YouthQuest will be using these materials to build structures in line with this month’s theme: Under Construction.

“This month is all about helping students hone their engineering, math and science skills.,” says Cheryl Adkins, program director for YouthQuest. “For example, we have a great activity that challenges students to build a city skyline using the value of pi.”

Other creative activities include:

  • Practicing mathematics using marshmallows and pretzel rods
  • Constructing road signs using arts and crafts supplies
  • Creating a freestanding structure using only marshmallows

To extend learning at home, parents can do the following:

  • Gather common materials such as straws, paperclips and toothpicks and challenge your student to build a structure.
  • Take your student to the Flint Children’s Museum and check out the exhibit “How Things Work.”
  • Discuss what building materials make up different structures. For example, ask your child, “What do you think our house was built with?”

 YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

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