students working on engineering project

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at CHSD170's Wilson School recently enjoyed an in-school field trip entitled "Exploring Engineering" presented by the Homewood Science Center.

During the program, students learned the history of Homewood's John Miller, a roller coaster inventor in the 1900s. They learned about and experienced the engineering design process first-hand as they created roller coaster hills using everyday materials.

Students gained skill, understanding, and self-efficacy in the engineering design process using pipe insulation, cereal boxes, tape, and marbles to build their own small-scale gravity-driven roller coasters. Next, they analyzed their designs using physics principles of potential energy and frictional effects, which they had learned as part of the Science Center's digital presentation.

"Our scholars were engaged and enjoyed the time they spent building roller coasters. They definitely looked like engineers in using their problem-solving skills," said third-grade teacher Natalie Lewis.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers Keturah Byrd, Kristi Jones, and April Williams, reiterated Lewis' thoughts, adding that it was edifying to see the students working in teams and collaborating on their creations.