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Sandy Creek Central School District

Hovercraft project puts STEM in action at Sandy Creek

Elizabeth Dano, center, reacts in surprise to the inaugural run of her team’s hovercraft. In back are Kayden Trumble, left and Elizabeth Hobbs, two members of Dano’s team.
Elizabeth Dano, center, reacts in surprise to the inaugural run of her team’s hovercraft. In back are Kayden Trumble, left and Elizabeth Hobbs, two members of Dano’s team.
October 11th, 2018 by Lani Camp, Public Relations

Sandy Creek sixth graders were flying around the gymnasium on Monday as they piloted hovercrafts in an exciting project-based learning experience.

The Hovercraft Project, developed by Chase Educational Consulting, visited Sandy Creek Middle School and the teamwork and problem solving began. Teams of students, under the direction of Matthew Chase, founder of the project, began their task with what was probably the most difficult of all: create the largest perfect circle they could from a square of Tyvek-type house wrap.

Close-enough was not an option and students racked their brains to determine how they could create their circle with the limited supplies they were given: a yard-stick, a piece of string, some markers, scissors and an ink pen. Communication, teamwork and collaboration were all utilized in the process and teachers, who were not allowed to coach or assist, were excited to see the ah ha moment when the concept of radius clicked with the students and they realized the solution was right in front of them all the time.

Chase worked closely with team leaders but did not hand them an easy solution, but rather guided them in the right direction so they could find their own resolution to the task at hand. His positive reinforcement and upbeat attitude encouraged students to work together and be a contributing member of their team and to follow the leadership of their team leader.

After the construction was completed, the students put the hovercrafts to the test. Each test included a different set of criteria, ranging from tight skirt to loose skirt, and one pusher to multiple pushers. Following each race heat, the students recorded the data and later used their findings to select which scenario lead to in the best results for their team.

Once their findings were determined, the student teams raced their hovercrafts against one another until a final team remained and was declared the winner.

The Hovercraft Project was coordinated by the Arts in Education department at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation at CiTi BOCES for the Oswego County Schools.


Gallery

Matt Chase meets with team leaders at the start of the Hovercraft Project at Sandy Creek Middle School. The sixth graders spent the day working with Chase building and testing their hovercrafts. Pictured, clockwise from left are: Abagail Balcom, John Darou, Dayle Ridgeway, Jesiah Curry, Dakota Denny, Seth LaCelle and Piper Phillips.
Matt Chase meets with team leaders at the start of the Hovercraft Project at Sandy Creek Middle School. The sixth graders spent the day working with Chase building and testing their hovercrafts. Pictured, clockwise from left are: Abagail Balcom, John Darou, Dayle Ridgeway, Jesiah Curry, Dakota Denny, Seth LaCelle and Piper Phillips.
Team leader Jesiah Curry reports back to his team following a team leader meeting with the Hovercraft Project coordinator, Matt Chase. Team members clockwise from bottom le3ft are: Kiley Procko, Kadin Collins, Olivia Euler, Sophie Harris, Dominic Thurston, and Jaeden Darling.
Team leader Jesiah Curry reports back to his team following a team leader meeting with the Hovercraft Project coordinator, Matt Chase. Team members clockwise from bottom le3ft are: Kiley Procko, Kadin Collins, Olivia Euler, Sophie Harris, Dominic Thurston, and Jaeden Darling.
Elizabeth Hobbs demonstrates the hand signal start your engine to Elizabeth Dano, seated on the hovercraft. Dano was designated as the first test pilot for the teamâs hovercraft. Looking on are team members Noah Lescenski, bottom left, Vienna Allen, Dakota Denny and Kayden Trumble.
Elizabeth Hobbs demonstrates the hand signal start your engine to Elizabeth Dano, seated on the hovercraft. Dano was designated as the first test pilot for the teamâs hovercraft. Looking on are team members Noah Lescenski, bottom left, Vienna Allen, Dakota Denny and Kayden Trumble.
Sara Leppien, left, shows Kelsey Ridgeway and Destiny Urquhart how to engage the blower to activate the hovercraft.
Sara Leppien, left, shows Kelsey Ridgeway and Destiny Urquhart how to engage the blower to activate the hovercraft.
Brayden Metott celebrates successfully meeting the required distance to remain in the competition during the Hovercraft Project at Sandy Creek Middle School.
Brayden Metott celebrates successfully meeting the required distance to remain in the competition during the Hovercraft Project at Sandy Creek Middle School.

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