Poultney Elementary School Grades 3 and 4 Embrace STEM Innovation with Macy’s Day Balloon Challenge

Poultney, Vermont – 11/21/2023 – Poultney Elementary School’s third and fourth-grade students are diving headfirst into a captivating STEM challenge that merges creativity, innovation, and engineering prowess. Under the guidance of educators Chad Pulver, Amy Kelly, and Smith Donaldson, these young minds are pushing the boundaries of imagination through the creation of their very own Macy’s Day balloon designs.

The project kicked off by harnessing students’ diverse background knowledge and imagination. Tasked with conceptualizing a balloon representation, children were encouraged to draw inspiration from their favorite movies, TV shows, and books, or even conjure their own unique designs. This initiative aimed to foster creativity while encouraging individual expression among the students.

However, the challenge didn’t stop there. Following the design phase, the students were presented with a STEM twist: engineering their balloons to suspend in the air akin to the helium-filled giants that grace the Thanksgiving parade. This added layer required the application of critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.

“This project serves as an avenue for team building and enhancing essential skills such as communication, active listening, and collaborative problem-solving,” noted Chad Pulver, one of the organizing teachers. “Students were not only challenged to innovate with their designs but also to work together to engineer a solution that defies gravity.”

Amy Kelly, another guiding educator, highlighted the importance of integrating hands-on STEM challenges into the curriculum. “It’s phenomenal to witness these young minds explore the realms of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in such a creative and engaging manner. Beyond just designing balloons, they’re learning to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical, real-world solutions.”

Smith Donaldson, also involved in orchestrating the activity, emphasized the holistic learning experience offered by this project. “It’s not just about creating a balloon; it’s about fostering a mindset of curiosity, problem-solving, and perseverance. These are skills that transcend the classroom and prepare our students for the challenges of the future.”

The Poultney Elementary School’s Macy’s Day Balloon Challenge showcases the school’s dedication to cultivating well-rounded, innovative, and collaborative learners. Stay tuned to witness the culmination of these students’ creativity and engineering marvels as they bring their balloon designs to life and defy gravity in the classroom parade.

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