Friday, May 25, 2018
Education

Chocachatti Elementary students get lesson in bridge, team building

BROOKSVILLE

The task was tricky: engineer a beam bridge out of Kapla blocks, precisely cut wood planks that do not interlock, but use gravity to remain in place. The goal, said Chocachatti science resource teacher Ruth Markham, was to make the bridge as long as possible in the allotted time and space.

Students began with online research and then tackled the physical challenge, with balancing acts going on around the room. Bridges grew, bridges fell; bridges grew, bridges fell.

This was part of the School Advisory Council's school improvement plan to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities.

"I was asked to do this as a demonstration lesson," Markham said.

"It's a whole different way of teaching. They have to think. They have to problem-solve. They have to come up with a design, and at the end they'll have to figure the area of the road span."

Third- through fifth-graders were building bridges, while the younger students, kindergarteners and first-graders, were asked to build Three Little Pigs' strong houses. Using sugar cubes, Popsicle sticks, straws, pipe cleaners, rocks and pencils, the house had to withstand the Big, Bad Wolf (a hair dryer).

Since this was a demonstration lesson, there were grade-level teachers visiting from other classrooms.

"Ruth does amazing lessons," said fifth-grade teacher Marianne Poholek. "The kids are going to be using this kind of activity for future projects."

Said fifth-grade teacher Sheila McNamara: "It will go along with the standards that I have to teach in science in the classroom."

She added that Markham can provide the blocks and supplements she and other teachers will need.

"This should plant questions in their minds," she said of the students.

Markham had been to a Florida Association of Science Teachers conference and gained some insight into how to prepare students for life after school. Teamwork is important.

"They have to learn to work together," she said.

She was told that when some engineers are interviewed for jobs and asked to solve problems in teams, they walk out.

"That's how they're hiring them," she said.

As for her students, she added, "It's really great to watch them cooperate and get things done."

The students were engrossed in their bridges and seemed to appreciate the value of what they were doing.

"This lesson was really creative and fun and had us working as a team," said fifth-grader Kayla Dawson, 10. "We had a lot of trouble, but had a lot of fun."

Her teammate, fifth-grader Holly Carroll, 10, said, "It gave us an experience to find out what it's like to be an engineer, and we found out what it's kind of like to build a bridge."

Comments
Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student who was critically injured last weekend during an accidental fall on campus shortly before she was to graduate died today, the school announced.Rebecca Ryan "Becca" Lavin-Burgher would have graduated with a ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
A school resource officer allegedly told a gay student she would go to hell. Now he’s going away.

A school resource officer allegedly told a gay student she would go to hell. Now he’s going away.

The stares and whispers started on the first day of school more than two years ago, when Liv Funk and Hailey Smith silently declared their relationship in the halls of North Bend High School by holding hands.They knew coming out would be hard in the ...
Published: 05/24/18
What is a college’s responsibility to parents when a student is suicidal?

What is a college’s responsibility to parents when a student is suicidal?

CLINTON, N.Y. — In the days after her son Graham hanged himself in his dormitory room at Hamilton College, Gina Burton went about settling his affairs in a blur of efficiency, her grief tinged with a nagging sense that something did not add up.She fi...
Published: 05/24/18
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict t...
Published: 05/23/18
Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students, staff and...
Published: 05/23/18
Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

TAMPA — The pain of the Parkland shootings Feb. 14 was fresh on the minds of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors when about 300 of them received an assignment. Write a 250-word essay on how decades of school shootings have touched y...
Published: 05/23/18
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Published: 05/22/18
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18
Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school leaders call it courtesy busing, but to Lauren Hawkins it’s more a matter of life and death.More students living close to their schools in the Westchase community used the Hillsborough school district’s courtesy bus...
Published: 05/21/18
Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

A day after England’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St. Petersburg hosted a royal celebration of its own. Among the estimated 500 graduates to receive an Eckerd College diploma at Sunday’s graduation ceremony held...
Published: 05/20/18
Updated: 05/21/18