Princess and the Pea

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Today, we took a "math break" and worked on a STEAM project.  STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.  Today's project was based on the fairy tale, Princess and the Pea.  If you are not familiar with Princess and the Pea, the story is about a Prince that is looking for a Princess to marry, but she must be a REAL princess.  One day, a young lady shows up at the castle door, claiming to be a princess, but she did not look like a "real" princess to the King and Queen.  The Queen decided to test if she was real, by placing a pea on her bed and then placed 20 mattresses and 20 quilts on top of it.  After a long nights sleep, she awoke feeling exhausted and bruised because she had slept upon something hard.  This then proved that the young lady was, in fact, a real princess.

So, today, we began with 10 sponges to represent the mattresses and quilts and a large marble and small marble to represent the pea.  Students were tasked with stacking AND balancing the sponges on the marble, without the sponges tilting or touching any sides.  Below are pictures of the students working and some of those that were successful at stacking 10 sponges.  Students had a blast with this activity, despite the fact that some became frustrated with the process.  It is not easy to balance the sponges on the marble and hope that it will stay.