Innovative STEM Project, “Sleigh Company,” Cultivates Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills Among Students

In an inspiring collaboration, educators Chad Pulver, Keith Harrington, Amy Kelly, and Maureen Kahill orchestrated a groundbreaking STEM project, “Sleigh Company,” at Poultney Elementary School. This initiative aimed to immerse students in a hands-on learning experience that fostered crucial skills in following instructions, creative design, and practical application within the realm of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The project commenced with a pivotal lesson in the importance of meticulous direction-following. Students encountered a challenging, multi-step set of instructions that emphasized the significance of reading all directives before beginning. This exercise instilled in them the value of careful attention to detail, leading to a cleverly concealed instruction to put their names on the paper and share a smile with their teacher, fostering a sense of camaraderie and humor.

Empowered by this newfound understanding, the students were poised to embark on a unique opportunity with the Klaus Sleigh Company. Tasked with the creation and redesign of a sleigh for package delivery, students were provided a limited set of materials and specific parameters—a 6-inch width and elevation of 1.5 inches above the table. The challenge demanded meticulous planning, innovative design, iterative improvements, and practical implementation.

The ultimate criterion for success was not only in adhering to instructions but also in constructing a sleigh capable of sustaining weight for 30 seconds while being pulled, ensuring the secure transport of packages without any spillage.

The “Sleigh Company” project not only honed the students’ technical skills, but also nurtured their teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. Participants enthusiastically engaged in the process, embracing the challenges and celebrating their accomplishments. Their eagerness to apply these newfound skills to future projects speaks volumes about the project’s success in igniting a passion for STEM-related endeavors.

Chad Pulver, Keith Harrington, Amy Kelly, and Maureen Kahill expressed immense pride in their students’ achievements, highlighting the students’ dedication, resilience, and collaborative spirit throughout the project.

This pioneering initiative exemplifies the school’s commitment to fostering a dynamic learning environment that encourages innovation, creativity, and skill development among its students.

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