The “Holiday Engineering Challenge” was for students at the Schoolcraft Elementary school in December. “It was created to do the canned food drive to help our local families and the Eagles Nest but also to include learning in the endeavor,” said Matt McCullough, director of teaching and innovation in Schoolcraft. Students brought canned food to school, then had a race from one end of the gym to another with their boxed cartons of canned food.
“Science curriculum/instruction now asks if we can make students become scientists and engineers as they learn by doing science,” McCullough said. “To aid our elementary staff, we created this engineering challenge, so students could practice the brainstorming, design/prototyping, peer feedback and assembly/testing that real engineers do. Teachers sometimes find it a stretch to include science in a math and English language arts classes that are heavy on Michigan elementary curriculum.
“We created a challenge that was more ‘pass or fail,’” said Principal Matt Webster. “Their ‘vehicle’ had to pull the weight of 15 canned good the length of the gym. Vehicles that successfully met the challenge were given an engineering badge to display on their classroom door for the year.”