Put the following materials on a table: 5 pennies, 2 rulers, 3 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper, and two pieces of masking tape (3 inches long each). Tell students they have 5 minutes to create a tall tower.
When time is up, measure the tower and snap a picture before it collapses! Be sure to email your picture and measurements by Saturday at noon.
If you want to learn a little more about skyscrapers, go here and here.
Update: Here is our attempt. First, we ripped the tape into smaller pieces. We rolled one piece of paper (lengthwise). We taped two rulers to the inside of the roll on opposite sides.
We rolled the second piece of paper and taped it to the first one.
We taped two pennies on the top sides of the second piece. We cut the third piece into thirds (each 8.5 inches tall). We rolled them and taped them together (now we were almost out of tape). We taped the three rolls to the bottom two. The tower stood for about 1 second before the top toppled. It was 46 inches before it flopped. We got this picture: