JE fifth graders build hover craft
The fifth grade students at the Jordan-Elbridge Dynamic Intermediate School put their teamwork, engineering and problem solving skills to the test during a day-long program with The Hovercraft Project in October. The project is known as a STEAM activity, or one that involves science, technology, engineering, art and math.
The program, led by executive director Matthew Chase, gave students the opportunity to work in groups to solve problems and ultimately build a hovercraft that could carry them and glide along the gym floor.
Students were grouped into teams of four and worked together to solve problems, take measurements, cut materials and assemble the crafts. Each team also picked a name such as “Teen Wolf,” “The Jets,” and “Talking Walking Tacos.”
The students looked engaged, excited and interested throughout the day.
“This is all about communicating with your team, applying basic engineering, and problem solving without the help of a teacher,” Chase said. “They’re going to go through a testing process and make observations.
When the students assembled their hovercrafts, they tested them and collaborated to solve various problems. Students were tasked with measuring how far their crafts traveled and then adjusting different variables to improve them.
Students used terms like “amazing,” “fun,” and “great” to describe the project.
Dylan Czarnecki said he learned a lot during the program.
“At first this was hard and a little confusing, but when you learned what to do, it got easier,” he said.
Caitlin Pittsley said she loved riding the hovercrafts and working with her team.
“This is super fun and it’s great to do projects like this,” she said. “My sister is in second grade and said she was jealous that we got to do this.”