Saint David’s Upper and Lower School After School STEAM classes recently tested egg safety capsules. Using materials such as cardboard, cotton, and straws, the boys designed and built different forms and types of padding and parachutes.
Their mission? To drop eggs from the fifth floor classrooms into our backyard without breaking the eggs. For inspiration, the Upper School class had studied NASA's landing protocol for the Mars Rovers. This led them to hypothesize that a parachute would be an important element for success; an idea that was borne out through some initial testing.
In the Upper School, each team was given a strict “$100" budget for the purchase of supplies and materials. They had to decide, as a team, how to organize and allocate their budget.
This after school class is an example of inquiry based learning we are infusing throughout our curriculum. This learning is cooperative, actively engaging, uses open-ended questions to explore and solve a problem, and involves repeated testing and evaluation.
Photo 2: Photo shows sketch of prototype as well as budget calculations; Photos 1 and 3: Testing the capsules.