South Ridge Elementary students use science to create carnival fun

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Two South Ridge Elementary School teachers found a new way to make learning fun for the third-grade science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) unit.

Chelsea Tipton and Jennifer Stinson ditched the textbooks and computers, and instead hosted a carnival with games that were created and tested by students to teach kids about force and motion, according to a news release.

As an end-of-year activity, third-graders had a week to use the information they learned throughout the year to build their games out of recycled materials from home, stated the release. The activities included concepts of throwing, pushing and spinning in order to move items like beanbags and marshmallows.

“They really were creative with what they came up with,” Stinson stated in the release. “And the games in the classrooms varied widely:  a cardboard golf game with a pool noodle putter, a popsicle stick catapult with tiny pom-pom projectiles and an air cannon blowing puffs of air at standing cards were among many clever ways students showcased their STEM learning.”

During the last week of school, students set up their ping pong balls, bottle caps and oatmeal canisters to demonstrate to their peers what they had created. Students won small prizes for participating.

“The kids absolutely loved this project and said it was one of their favorites,” Tipton stated in the release. “One of my students said that she enjoyed everyone’s games, especially because they were made by kids and weren’t perfect, but they were still super fun. It’s definitely a project we’ll keep doing in the future.”

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