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Middle School STEAM Classes Build Non-Electrical Paddleboats

Grinning middle schoolers huddled around the dock at Blue Heron Lake as they watched their tiny creations glide across the water.  

As a part of the MYP Design Cycle curriculum, Upper Middle School students put their design skills to the test in a determined attempt to build non-electrical paddleboats.

Each student had to work through the project using consumable materials like: straws, wooden dowels, popsicle sticks and rubber bands.

The final model had to be smaller than a shoebox, use non-electrical power and had to float.

After the middle schoolers finished their paddleboats, Middle school STEAM teacher Kim Bullard lead the students down to Blue Heron Lake, so they could watch their creations float.

“The best part was the joy on their faces when we put them in the lake and let the paddleboats go,” Mrs. Bullard said. Having STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in place for the last 2 years is leading to students experiencing high levels of success and an appreciation for design. They are getting the opportunity to work through the design cycle and tinker with ideas, solutions to problems and techniques for improvement.  With every endeavor, I am getting to stand back and watch in awe of their abilities."