Physics challenge is part life lesson for students
High School students in Kyle Tibbits’ physics classes will learn valuable information this year, which will prepare them for their college level science courses. But one challenge is helping Mr. Tibbits' students learn some valuable life lessons that they will use beyond the classroom.

Students in Tibbits’ four physics classes are participating in the Marshmallow Challenge. The actual challenge sounds easy: build the tallest structure you can (out of string, spaghetti and tape), top it off with a marshmallow and have it remain standing upright until it is measured. While the students are using their engineering skills to build their structures, the real lesson can be found in the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.”

When the 18 minute time limit passed, and the structures either stood tall, or fell, Tibbits shared that, according to data, the group of people who are the most successful at the challenge are kindergarten students. Why? Because they are not afraid to try the challenge, and fail. And then try again.

Making mistakes, failing, and then improving from what you learned from the process is a valuable lesson, Tibbits told the class.

“Don’t be afraid to be wrong,” he told the class. “If mistakes help you learn, it’s ok to make mistakes” He added that people learn at different rates and in different ways, and he will help the students to learn in the way that is best for them.

For the record, the most successful structure in Mr. Tibbits' first period class on Friday stood at 46.5 cm. tall, or about 18 inches.
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