8th Graders Participate in "Walk on Water" Experiment
The annual eighth grade “Walk on Water” event recently took place at the Mt. Vernon Middle School pool where students’ critical thinking skills were challenged to a new degree. They were tasked to build a piloted device that travels the length of the pool with one team member navigating on the float.
In small groups, students use nearly any materials, excluding styrofoam, to construct their float in the attempt of one team member “walking” across the water to the other side of the pool. If the float sinks, the team is out of the competition. Teams do not have an opportunity prior to the competition to test their floats.
The project is designed to test the students’ knowledge on issues of problem solving, the scientific method, planning a long-term project, teamwork, and writing a formal lab report. Students are encouraged to think outside of the box for this project-based learning. Some of the scientific concepts the students have to consider are: propulsion, density, energy, energy transfer, Newton’s Laws, and stability.
Many teams get in the spirit of the day and dress in a theme that represents their group. This year, teams were dressed as giraffes, cowboys, pirates, tourists and more, which made the event extra fun. Awards were also given to a few teams for various superlatives, such as best dressed.
The Walk on Water event creates an atmosphere of excitement and friendly competition, as well as entertainment. This unique curriculum-based event is one of the capstone activities at Mt. Vernon Middle School.