Middle school students showed their creativity and problem solving skills while rowing in cardboard boats they had designed at a public pool.
“My social goal is to get the junior high kids excited about returning to school in August. They love this project, especially the testing phase because they get to go to the pool during school,” said teacher Brandy Tjelde. “My academic goals are to provide a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) project for students to complete. They learn about concepts such as density, buoyancy, and Archimedes’ Principle prior to constructing their boats. Throughout the building phase, students practice teamwork by working with partners and have to journal for English class. We get several teachers involved in the project.”
During the first two days of school, students learn about how boats are built and how they stay afloat. They then have approximately three days to build their cardboard boats to sail in the pool at the end of the week.
“This year we had a group make a boat with wings like a duck and another made their design like a dragonfly,” Tjelde said. “We’ve had a few make rafts — some work and some don’t.”