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Fictional Stories, Real Solutions at McKenna

Famed children’s folklore came to life at McKenna Elementary School for the third annual Fairy Tale STEAM Night. Fourth graders and their parents participated in a series of engineering design challenges based upon popular stories.

 

Different materials were provided for each activity, and students and parents had to first sketch out their plans before building. They had to follow the engineering process: ask, imagine, plan, create and improve.

“Three Billy Goats Gruff” inspired an activity in which participants had to build rafts to help lead the goats past the troll and to safety. After construction was done, they tested their designs in a bucket of water and added pennies to see how much weight the rafts could hold. In another challenge, students and parents built houses that could withstand the huffing and the puffing of the Big Band Wolf. Using paper strips, they also had to build baskets for Little Red Riding Hood.

The event was coordinated by Magnet and STEAM teacher Michelle Scott, with support from teachers Laurie Cole, Bridget Fielder, Stefanie Limone, Alyssa Lutz, James Ondris and Jaclyn Scorce who led the activities.

“This event increased communication between parents and their children about the importance of scientific and engineering skills that can be applied to daily problems in the real world,” Ms. Scott said. “These activities emphasize that there are multiple solutions to obstacles and challenges that can be used to achieve success.”

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