“Students Blow Their Tops”

Fourth graders at St. John the Baptist School were literally blowing their tops this week.  Upon completing their study of earth science, the budding geologists were tasked to research, design, and create working volcanoes.  To gain the necessary technology and engineering skills required to craft the objects, the fourth graders spent considerable time in the school’s Computer and Technology Lab completing research.  Fourth grade teacher Mrs. Johanna MacDonald explains, “I wanted them to gain information on actual, active volcanoes in our world from a geographic perspective, as well as to learn about the mechanical functions of how to create a working model.  Their enthusiasm and devotion in researching and executing this was impressive!  We invited some of the younger grades, parents, and families to watch the presentations of the 4th graders having their models explode.”

Mrs. McDonald explains that the school is focused on S.T.E.M. education, which incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into the curriculum.  She says although the Science and Math components of this project are obvious, it was the mastery of Engineering and Technology that was required to enable student success.  She reports that all the volcanoes successfully detonated and worked during the presentation, crediting the students’ research skills and efforts as key.  Most found that paper, dental paste, and/or baking soda were key ingredients to their projects’ success.  MacDonald adds, “One of our fourth graders, Analee DeGlopper’s volcano, provided the most dramatic explosion of the day.  Her volcano was so powerful it spewed two feet or more into the air!  The kids and families went wild during that eruption and it was a hilarious, dramatic finish to a very successful day!”