Mrs. Beth Lycosky’s fifth grade class at Schwenksville Elementary recently participated in a STEM activity. Working in groups of 3 or 4, students were given 15 pipe cleaners and 15 minutes to build the tallest free standing pipe cleaner tower. While working, students encountered budget cuts and communication problems. After 5 minutes, the students could only use one hand (symbolizes a budget cut). After 5 more minutes, students could not speak with each other (symbolizes language barriers). This fun activity reinforced some important life skills, such as problem solving, communication skills, adapting to new situations, compromising, and working with others.