On Thursday, November 1, Perelman 5th graders were paired up with Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy 8th graders to begin the much-anticipated Boats and Bridges program. The program provides our students the opportunity to experience science and engineering in a unique setting.
Together with the 8th graders at Barrack, students are challenged to create a bridge and a boat, utilizing a single standardized set of materials. Their efforts are compared through specific testing of both their bridge and boat, and through the assessment of a journal that will document their experiences. Along with science related skills, group dynamics, leadership and perseverance play a large role in achieving top performance throughout each of the sessions and in the overall competition.
Teachers, science specialists and administrators supervise teams as they search for solutions.
During this first session, students spent time getting to know the other members of their group, and taking inventory of the tools and materials in their boxes from which they will be required to build their boat and bridge. They then began to work together, brainstorming possible ways to construct their boat and bridge, using those tools and materials. Each group recorded its ideas in the group’s journal, and debated its pros and cons. The teams were tasked with reaching consensus about which plan to pursue in preparation for the next session.
We look forward to reporting on the outcome of this unique science project in the coming months. Good luck to all the teams!