Fifth-graders build hovercrafts during STEM lesson

Building upon their classroom studies of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Dennis M. Kenney fifth-graders recently assembled and raced hovercrafts during a daylong lesson.

The Hovercraft Project, spearheaded by Matthew Chase, provides students with an opportunity to develop their teamwork, leadership and communication skills while also bringing complex academic subjects to the forefront. Through the project, students use inquiry-based learning while practicing all subjects concurrently.

“We also weave the idea of personal value into the entire experience,” Chase said. “If each student understands that they are valuable, they have more confidence to contribute to their team. And if they work as a team, they have the potential to build something awesome.”

That teamwork and self-confidence was evident as students built the hovercrafts. They measured and cut materials and once assembled, created hypotheses and tested out the hovercrafts using different variables to achieve the best results.

“Our students really enjoyed this project and were able to incorporate classroom lessons and important life skills such as teamwork,” said DMK Principal Shawn Morgan. “They not only learned a lot, but they had a great time as well.”

The Hovercraft Project was brought to the HCSD in partnership with the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation’s Arts-in-Education program.