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Playground Offers Hands-on Science Lessons

Eighth grade science students on EMES playground
Eighth grade science students on EMES playground

Eighth grade physical science students dug holes, examined rocks, weighed and measured inside and outside the school building in recent weeks to help install donated oversize tractor tires for a new elementary climbing structure.

The hands-on project was spearheaded by Lee Good, middle school physical science teacher, who rounded up the five-foot size tires for Kendal Bauman. Bauman, K-5 PE teacher, developed a new playground on the site of the elementary building renovation this summer.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to make classroom learning practical,” Good said.

Students were responsible for their own and each other’s safety, as well as most of the work involved. As the work moved along, they navigated challenges presented by several large rocks and took samples of rock, soil and other items (clay drain tile pipe) for further analysis.

Biology teacher Sarah Mitch directed further analysis, including exploring the relationship between mass, volume and density. Students will also study mineral content, hardness and fossil formation in sedimentary rock.

After the tires were installed, the full eighth grade class had the opportunity to climb on their accomplishment and celebrate on a beautiful fall day.

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