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home : opinions : columns June 24, 2016

4/17/2012 10:51:00 AM
Guest Column: Grand Canyon School students excel at NAU's Engineering and Science Day
Marcie Jacobs
Grand Canyon School Math Teacher

On April 5, 15 students from Grand Canyon High School attended an Engineering and Science Day at Northern Arizona University (NAU). The students were broken into five groups of three and rotated to five events. Three of those events were stations where they had to build something and were judged against the other seven high schools that were participating in the events as well. The three stations were: designing a model wind turbine, constructing a structure from straws that hung from the side of a table and constructing a support system out of note cards and paper clips. In the other two stations, the students made ice cream and did an activity to show the effects of germs.

All of our students displayed excellent problem solving skills and worked very well as a team. We took first place in all three events that were judged. The team made up of Molly Struble, Jared Ruyle and Katreena Haswood took first in the wind turbine design. Their model produced the highest amount of energy, far exceeding all other models at the competition. They impressed the NAU engineering students so much with their design that they kept it to do some more testing and pass it on to a national competition. Our second team that placed in the competition was Richardo McCrary, Blythe McBroom and Nicolas Legaspi. This team took first in two events and third in the third event that was judged. Their first place awards were for the structure created from straws. The goal was for the structure to be at least 21 inches from the ground and extend as far from the table as possible. Their structure won by a half an inch. The second event they took first place in was the note card and paper clip support system. The object of this event was to make a structure that would support the most weight and be the most cost efficient. The note cards were worth $1000 and the paper clips were worth $500. They created a structure that held 17.5 pounds and cost $14,000. This team then went on and took third place in the wind turbine activity.

All the students had a great time at the event and some even went home with prizes from the raffle that was done at the end. Katreena Haswood received one of the three grand prizes, a TI-84+ Graphing Calculator.

It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to take these students to this event. They represented Grand Canyon School very well by showing the knowledge and skills that they have developed over the years. It was also very impressive to watch them work as a team and display excitement for engineering, science and math.

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