NEW PALESTINE — Students from first through eighth grade at Zion Lutheran School recently tried their hand at tower construction. The students were challenged to construct a sturdy tower out of 100 toothpicks. The towers were then tested on SciFest day to see how much weight they could hold. Weights, bricks and textbooks were used to test the structural integrity of the constructions. Two students, Reagan Kleiman and Ethan Salyer, tied for the most weight held by their tower — 12,699 grams, or nearly 28 pounds.

The students in third through eighth grade who placed in the top four for their grade were invited to compete at Lutheran High School in Lutheran High’s annual SciFest. These were Cathryn Erwin, Eli Greene and Levi Werner in third grade; Audra Bloomer, Danielle Taylor, Amelia Stone and Micah Werner in fourth grade; Montana Arnold, Cree Atkins, Natalie Greene, Reagan Kleiman and Ethan Salyer in fifth grade; Brenna Bailey, Avery Hayes, Molley Wilkins and Kendall Colclazier in sixth grade; Colin Carter, Emma Everhart, Katie McKinley and Danielle Steward in seventh grade; and Jadon Brutcher, Rob Clark, Katie Reid and Megan Tiede-White in eighth grade.

Competing against students from other area Lutheran schools, the students continued their study of engineering. The objective this year was to construct a tower using three sheets of paper, half a sheet of card stock, three index cards, three meters of tape and a paper lunch bag. The winning towers needed to hold three dominoes and measure the tallest in their grade level bracket. The teams were given five minutes to come up with their design plan and 20 minutes to do the actual constructing.

The third/fourth grade team of Danielle Taylor and Amelia Stone placed third against all teams at that level, and the fifth grade team of Montana Arnold, Natalie Greene and Ethan Salyer placed third overall at the fifth/sixth grade level.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or