Hovercraft Project teaches DMK fifth-graders STEM and life lessons

Dennis M. Kenney fifth-graders recently participated in a daylong learning activity where they utilized their classroom knowledge and teambuilding skills to assemble and race hovercrafts throughout the gymnasium.

The Hovercraft Project gives students an opportunity to develop their teamwork, leadership and communication skills while also bringing complex academic subjects to the forefront. The immersive learning experience, led by Matthew Chase, founder of The Hovercraft Project, encourages students to ask questions, develop solutions, and implement their ideas.

“Students build, analyze, problem solve, experience conflict resolution, learn how to operate as a team, and apply classroom knowledge to a problem with limited tools,” Chase said. “We also weave the idea of personal value into the entire experience. 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.”

After assembling the hovercrafts, students tested the hovercrafts during trial runs and eventually raced them across the gymnasium, making adjustments along the way to maximize the results.

“It was a wonderful day of learning,” said DMK Principal Khrystie Allen. “The students were engaged in the lesson and they worked together toward a common goal. There were lots of smiles, and the students learned some fantastic academic and life lessons.”

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