How to make snowmen without snow (HINT: Marshmallows)
Riverside students make do in STEM class
So how do you make a tall snowman without any snow?
You improvise, adapt and overcome and, instead, build it out of marshmallows.
At least that’s what the prekindergarten students in Linda Fortune’s class at Riverside Early Learning Center did during a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math session Wednesday morning.
Fortune went over the available materials with her students.
“There are small ones, there’s medium ones and than there’s gigantic marshmallows you can use,” she said, holding up an example of each.
Simply stacking up marshmallows leads to a rather unstable snowman. The students also had access to toothpicks and coffee stirring straws.
“Maybe we need to use these sticky sticks too,” she told them while skewering several marshmallows with the straw.
At the end of the construction, she said, there would be an added bonus.
“Then you will get to eat two of them,” she said.
While the group of students were pretty happy about that, one of them had already learned an important lesson, both about life and about marshmallows.
“We need to share,” they said.
Fortune said the STEM session helped her students learn to problem solve and among other things, learn about measuring when they put a ruler to their completed snowmen.
During past sessions, they’ve built bridges out of popsicle sticks and created gingerbread structures.
The biggest engineering hurdle the students had to work on Wednesday wasn’t building a tall snowman, it was building a tall marshmallow snowman that would stay upright.
One student came up with a rather inventive solution. He stuck toothpicks in the bottom marshmallows that propped it up, very much like a tripod.
Finally, once they were done and the measuring had been completed, a few of the students opted for authentic snowman features such as eyes and a nose.
Lacking miniature marshmallow sized lumps of coal, carrots and sticks, the students used markers, a purpose they may not have been designed for.
“They don’t write on marshmallows very well,” Fortune said.