Gribbin Students Engineer Boats and Rafts

Gribbin Students Engineer Boats and Rafts photo

Gribbin first-graders constructed boats and rafts using craft sticks, straws, pipe cleaners and masking tape during a recent STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering, art and mathematics) class.

The students, under the direction of STREAM teacher Jessica McKenna, read Ellen Appleby’s book “The Three Billy-Goats Gruff.” The folktale tells the story of how three billy goats outsmart an intimidating troll. The students were asked what they could build in class that could help the billy goats cross the river, similar to the book. Eventually they decided to build a boat or a raft. 

The first step was to plan their project and determine how to build the floating apparatus. They then were paired with a partner and had to review both of their plans and select the one that they felt would work.   

McKenna said students planned, sketched and labeled their plans. They also had to make sure their rafts or boats could float after construction. She said they are learning the important skills of creating, collaborating and communicating.