Wow! What an eventful week in 5th grade. The kids started off the week with a few quiet, focused, all-business NWEA testing sessions. As the week progressed, we finished the novel Hatchet and began to prepare for our culminating boat-racing project. Using only cardboard and a limited amount of duct tape, the kids had to build boats that would (hopefully) carry their entire team across the length of a swimming pool. The teams of three, spent time discussing boat design, drawing models, making prototypes and finally creating their team boats. The action at the swimming pool was positive, encouraging and supportive as teams cheered each other on regardless of the nautical success of the boats. Many ships sank, but everyone had a great time! This 5th grade class feels like a team that we could do anything with. Good thing, since this week we are all off to Camp Tamarack for yet another adventure.
Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen
Our upper school students are lucky in that they get to come to the lab 3 days a week. We dove straight into teaching the upper school students the proper workflow in order to use our laser cutter. This involves learning Adobe Illustrator, a powerful and equally complex design program that is used to create projects the laser cutter can understand. Our 5th, 7th, and 8th grade students tackled Illustrator and learned the basics by designing personal bookmarks as well as class norms posters to hang in their classroom. Each student got to have their bookmark design “printed” on the laser cutter, and the top 4 class norms posters were voted on and “printed” as well. With this basic Illustrator skill-set, students have a great foundation for digitally designing their future projects and are ready to acquaint themselves with the other tools in the lab.
Our 5th and 6th grade classes also completed the egg drop challenge. Over two days the students came to the design lab and designed an enclosure that would protect an egg from a 10 ft fall. Having both done the challenge before, we were impressed by the creative solutions that were prototyped in the lab.