Programs such as STEAM have certainly added to the education and excitement for students in recent years. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math. Arts is the component that was most recently added to what was known as STEM.
Nearly all those five components came into play for about 150 Polson Middle School sixth-grade students last Thursday when they gathered at the Mission Valley Aquatic Center for boat races. We can call it the “Duck Boat Dynasty.”
Each of 10 teams constructed boats — using cardboard (including glue, spray paint, permanent markers and a very key component — duct tape. It seems that using enough duct tape, and in the right way, will keep a cardboard boat afloat.
There was, however, the Titanic award, presented to the team whose boat stayed afloat the shortest period of time. That went to the Rubber Duckies advisory team, with Patti Mills as their advisor.
Boats could be up to 12 feet long, and had to fit through the doorway into the pool area of the aquatic center. There was a captain and first mate in each boat.
“It brings kids together in a STEAM project,” said Tami Morrison, the science, engineering and media teacher at PMS. “This is a team effort. Each advisory team designs their own boat.” She indicated most of the building supplies
Which boats stayed afloat long enough to cover 50 yards in the pool, 25 yards up and 25 yards back to the finish line? It came down to a race-off between The Revenge (Randy Kelly advisor) and The Narwahls (Kourtney Zeigler advisor) for top honors. What’s a narwhal? A horned whale, known as the Unicorn of the Sea.
The Revenge won the race-off with a time of 45 second for the 25-yard race. It would have been very close, but the Narwahls vessel got tangled up in a lane divider.
“It was all about construction,” said Kelley, an RMS health and PE teacher. “It was reinforced. We went small, not for a big boat … and a lot of duct tape!”
Special awards and advisors: Fastest, The Revenge, Kelley; Best Dressed, Wild Bunch (of bananas), Morrison; Most Spirited, Narwahls, Zeigler; and Pirate Pride, Unicorns, LouAnne Kranz.
PMS seventh- and eighth-grade students held their boat races this week at the aquatic center.