Fortville Elementary School (FES) fourth graders have used their STEM knowledge to create a replica of the Town of Fortville using graham crackers and other additional edible materials. This “Gingerbread Town of Fortville” gave five fourth-grade classes an opportunity to collectively create a replica. Each class was given a portion of the town to develop, and then pairs of students were assigned a specific building.
Students created several graham cracker buildings such as Mozzi’s, Sunrise Bakery, and Foxgardin. The (balloon) water tower actually pumped water. The Town of Fortville replica also included Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS), Mt. Vernon Middle School (MVMS), the Performance Enhancement Center (PEC,) and Memorial Park in their project.
There is hope that next year will bring a project expansion with speakers from each Fortville business. These Fortville business owners would be able to share their product with the classroom, teach supply and demand, interact with the students constructing their building, and also teach the history of their building.
Through the project, students unknowingly learned about social studies, language arts, science, art, and math. Each Fortville building had a QR code that led to a student-made report, as well as a handmade circuit that turned on a street light.
Social studies was the main area of content covered by the project, with students learning about Fortville’s development in Indiana, locating features on a map, and studying their goods and services, and the effect on the economy.
Students also used language arts skills when they were reading, writing, and researching their assigned building. They prepared a report on their assigned building with information about the structure they researched.
Science was used in the project when students learned about electricity and circuits, as well as several components of computer science. Each street light was created by the student team and was able to turn on the circuit light.
Lastly, math was also put into play with students estimating the size and number of the materials that they would need to reconstruct the building.
FES principal, Mrs. Stacy Muffler, shares, “I am proud of our students for their high level of engagement, collaboration, and effort with this STEM project.”
Projects just like the one at FES occur all over the country in an attempt to help students learn more about the communities they call home.
Please see the FES "Town of Fortville" Project photo gallery for more pictures.