Cardboard Boat Project at BDJMS

Mary Horrigan
September 29, 2015

One of the best aspects of the engineering process is creating something from start to finish. How better to teach the 8th grade STEM students at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School (BDJMS) this process then to have them envision, plan, and create a boat from start to finish?

Earlier this week, the NESS SEA AmeriCorps team began a 6-week long project with the BDJMS 8th graders to create a sailboat out of nothing but recycled cardboard, styrofoam, tape and plastic. Not only will this new project help students learn the importance of confidence and teamwork, but it will also give them the opportunity to work together to create an unpredictable yet awesome outcome!

This is the first time this project has gone underway. To ensure success, a lot of careful planning has been put in place as we hope to continue this creative learning project for years to come. To get this idea off the ground, a number of the AmeriCorps members made phone calls and trips to local businesses throughout New London and Groton in an attempt to get their hands on as much material as possible. Members created a detailed field journal to help students guide their research and thought processes. Finally, coordinating with the NESS Staff in New London was crucial in order to plan and execute boat building and sailing dates.

We recently completed week one of the project. During the first session students created and tested small scale models of their boats in order to determine what designs they will implement when building their large boats.

We are eager to continue this project! Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned for more information on how our awesome BDJMS students continue with their boats. .