Eighth-graders at Parkview Middle School in Ashwaubenon, Wis., participated in a balsa wood tower challenge as a "hands-on way for students to learn science and engineering," the teachers said. The competition, co-sponsored by architectural and engineering firm Ayers Associates, challenges students to build a 2-ounce tower out of balsa wood that could support their body weight. "It's a great opportunity for students to have a real-life application and actually work in partnership with engineers," said Julie Branner, a science teacher.

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