Shelters and STIXX Tall Towers

Building Shelters out of STIXX STIXX Tallest Tower
Building Shelters out of STIXX Building the Tallest Tower out of STIXX

Shelters is the activity I run most frequently in secondary schools and certainly one of the most dramatic in results. The introduction is about three dimensional shapes, how to design and build a stable, strong structure and the key skills they will use during the activity. The students are split into teams of five or six. They start by doing their design. The challenge for each team is to use the STIXX machine to make newspaper rods and then connect them together with re useable cable ties to build a shelter big enough for the whole team to get into, within the time. The activity is about creativity, teamwork, enterprise, communication, cooperation and working to a deadline. I try to the best of my ability to ensure the every team is successful, even if the roof is dished and the odd one needs a helping hand to remain upright!

Instead of Shelters the teams could make Famous Structures of their choice i.e. Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Canary Wharf, a working model of the London Eye etc. Or they could be challenged to build the tallest free standing tower within the time given. This is quite competitive, call me a softy, but I prefer Shelters. With that everyone will have something to get into, to be proud of, with tall Towers there is only one winner, some teams will be over ambitious, some hopeless and will know 20 minutes or more before the end that they will not win.

There is a further choice to make, re useable or permanent cable ties. When using re useable ties the structures are taken down at the end, STIXX recycled and the ties re used, very sustainable. Just bear in mind that the structures do occupy a large space. It is too unfair to have some teams using one type and other teams using the other in the same session. With re useable ties I am happy to leave up one or two structures for display, if you promise to post me back the ties when they do get taken apart

Building Shelters out of STIXX Building Shelters out of STIXX Building Shelters out of STIXX
Routemaster BusThe Gherkin The Eiffel Tower