BERLIN -- Students in Worcester County learned this summer that the quickest solution isn’t always the best by building complex Rube Goldberg machines as part of their summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Academy.
Starting with a basic device that sends a marble down several twists and turns, students must then add their own custom built machines to create an intricate catapult capable of launching a marshmallow. Berlin Intermediate School (BIS) fifth grade teacher Sheri Ward explained that the activity promotes STEM-oriented goals like teamwork, self-reliance, time management and creatively tackling a problem.
“They have to figure it out for themselves. I can’t tell them how to make it,” said Ward. “That’s what STEM is. It’s teaching them to think for themselves and to think outside of the box.”