STEAM-Themed Community Time Gives Students Wings to Fly

Problem-solving, creativity, partners, and fun. Last week, the Science Department organized an all-school Community Time centered on an engineering design challenge.
Poor Fixer, a crow with a broken wing.  Science Teacher Jeannie LaPlante set the stage by reading Izzy Gizmo, a story about a girl determined to help the crow get back up on its…well…to carry on despite its damaged wing. Once the story ended, Barbara Bratzel posed the challenge—what can you design and build (other than wings) that will make Fixer’s life easier?

Students, arranged in partner classes, set to work. At the end of a half hour, the Gym packed with a school-full of students had devised dozens of unique solutions to help Fixer eat, escape predators, live comfortably, and travel about. Cooperation, ingenuity, creativity, teamwork, and effective time-management were on full display. “This is fun,” quipped a second grader. Her seventh-grade partner agreed.
Thanks to the Science Department for bringing the school together around an engaging, open-ended challenge that let students of all ages have fun with the design process, have fun helping a crow in need, and have fun together!
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