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APW Fifth-Graders Participate in Hovercraft Activity

Teams of fifth-grade students at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Elementary School learned all about science, cooperation and leadership as they constructed a self-propelled hovercraft.

The Hovercraft Project is an all-day experience where students utilize a variety of life skills and science curriculum lessons to plan, build, test and participate in successful hovercraft rides in the school’s gymnasium.

Matthew Chase, of Chase Educational Consulting, travels from city to city to divide up students into small groups for a day that promotes interest in science, technology, art and math (STEAM).

“The project is a great way for our students to come together and practice their teamwork skills,” said Principal Dawn Cooley. “It incorporates STEAM in a fun and exciting way that allows the students to be engaged in what they are doing.”

Chase worked with the small groups and communicated through hand-selected team leaders who were responsible for managing his or her team members. Team members were then assigned their own unique roles for the building process.

Their math skills were put to the test as they worked together to create the perfect hovercraft by conducting multiple test runs, using calculations and tracking the data.

With each trial, teammates cheered and then brainstormed on how to improve their machines. 

After each exercise, Chase emphasized an important message, one of the biggest being that it was OK to make mistakes, all which students can learn and grow from.