Boating on the Forest Glen Riviera

Boating on the Forest Glen Riviera
Posted on 09/17/2018

Forest Glen Middle School students in Ms. Whitehead’s Keyboarding, as well as, Computer Solutions classes participated in’s Aluminum Boats activity in order to solve a problem. This activity correlates with Virginia’s 2017 Computer Science Standards of Learning.  Integrated throughout the standards, is the theory of computational thinking. In order to prepare the students for such a task, they were first given the opportunity to think outside of the box (computer) via an Unplugged lesson.

The class was divided into teams and provided with a 5” by 5” piece of aluminum foil. The objective was to construct a boat (any size, type, or dimension) that would hold the most pennies without sinking. The actual construction of the boat could only consist of one piece of foil. Students were responsible for planning, designing, and constructing the boat. Using critical thinking and problem solving skills, students relied upon their prior knowledge of weight distribution, force, velocity, and surface area.

This collaborative and creative activity disguised as fun walked students through the Problem Solving Process: Define a goal, devise a plan, try a solution, evaluate results, and then continuously improve from there.

Along with a friendly boating competition, students enjoyed poolside fishing and tossing the ball around. Boats held as little as 9 pennies (from the original design) to as much as 28 pennies (from the redesign).


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