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STEM, Social Learning Brings Joy In Hovercraft Lessons

Granby fifth grader Hayden Hall takes off on a hovercraft ride with special education teacher Erica Bull during a recent distance competition with his peers and school staff members, as part of a recent Hovercraft Project activity.
Granby fifth grader Hayden Hall takes off on a hovercraft ride with special education teacher Erica Bull during a recent distance competition with his peers and school staff members, as part of a recent Hovercraft Project activity.

FULTON – Fulton City School District elementary students sailed across the gymnasium floors of their respective schools with life skills lessons and STEM exercises in action.

Granby fifth grader Hayden Hall takes off on a hovercraft ride with special education teacher Erica Bull during a recent distance competition with his peers and school staff members, as part of a recent Hovercraft Project activity.
Granby fifth grader Hayden Hall takes off on a hovercraft ride with special education teacher Erica Bull during a recent distance competition with his peers and school staff members, as part of a recent Hovercraft Project activity.

Fifth grade students spent an entire day in small groups, with each member assigned a designated job to help the team achieve a successful ride with an air-powered vehicle through The Hovercraft Project.

Matthew Chase, of Chase Educational Consulting, said the low-friction devices enabled students from Volney, Lanigan, Fairgrieve and Granby schools to incorporate a variety of science, technology, engineering and math concepts with a lot of fun.

Granby fifth grade teacher Lori Dorsey said the Hovercraft Project served as a kick-off to the many academic and social/emotional learning opportunities her students will have throughout the 2018-19 school year.

The project enabled students to learn about radius, diameter, movement, machines and other academic lessons.

They also had to write and record data, which is something they’ll do for both classwork and student-led conferences.

The work also ties in with the FCSD elementary Second Steps curriculum, as students will learn about team work, cooperation, anti-bullying and other key social/emotional components.

Dorsey said she is excited to be able to relate those future lessons back to the Hovercraft Project.

After much of the day was spent on working together to develop the hovercrafts, students, teachers and administrators alike were able to ride the devices.

The project was made possible thanks to the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation’s Arts-in-Education program.