Phoenix fifth-graders recently built hovercrafts as part of a lesson in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The full-day immersive program, led by Matt Chase of The Hovercraft Project, provided students with an opportunity to work together, solve problems and build a hovercraft that carried riders from one end of the gym to the other. Sixteen teams began the day with materials to measure, cut, assemble and power the low-friction “vehicle.”
Each student had their own role to fulfill, ranging from analyzing data to serving as test pilots. They worked as a team to troubleshoot issues and apply classroom knowledge using limited resources.
Once the teams made their crafts, they lined up at one end of the gym, powered on the vehicles and with one push they were propelled across the floor.
“This is awesome!” fifth-grader Cole Bailer said as he rode his hovercraft across the gym.
“Our philosophy is learn to love to learn,” Chase said. “They are having fun and learning a ton at the same time. The math, engineering and learning pieces are right at their level. It encompasses all the learning standards.”
The Hovercraft Project was brought to the Phoenix Central School District through the Arts in Education program at the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation.