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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Teaching to the Future


Junior and senior students enrolled in Group 4 IB science courses participated in the day-long "Group 4" Annual Science Project to create original Rube-Goldberg machines. By demonstrating their skills in innovation, teamwork and problem-solving, students worked together on this multi-disciplinary project to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science. To make the project even more collaborative, IB Physics students from Westlake High School were invited to participate in the activity with our Edsmen. "One of the biggest challenges over the years has been to figure out a relevant, fun and engaging activity for students. This year, they were tasked with creating their own Rube-Goldberg devices out of recyclable materials," says Science Teacher Mr. Libero Puccini. "The hospitality our young men showed our visitors exceeded our expectations and truly reflected our Holy Cross values. The students' ability to collaborate well with their groups and their creativity was most impressive, especially since everything had to be done within one school day. Even though groups were technically in competition with each other, they shared ideas, extra materials and even lended a helping hand if another group needed additional manpower for their machines."

To reinforce St. Ed's commitment to recycling, students were asked to bring in their own recyclables to add to their machine designs. "Having students bring in their own recycledsupplies addresses two things: it reuses many materials that may not have properly been disposed at home and it shows the sheer magnitude of waste we can create in just one or two week's time," says Mr. Puccini. "When we point out how much waste we create and extrapolate to a global scale, it allows the students to reflect on their carbon footprint and hopefully become more globally responsible as citizens."

Additionally, each group was given a box of supplies including marbles, dominos, paper towel tubes and more that they were required to use as well. In the spirit of the Food Networking cooking competition show, "Chopped," students didn't have any previous knowledge to the contents within their box until the day of the activity. Additionally, each group's machine needed to complete at least six actions and finish by watering a plant. "This project allows students to think outside the box and find new creative ways to use everyday recyclable materials," says Mr. Puccini. "With all the rigor that comes along with being an IB student at St. Ed's, this project allows our young men to apply their skills and knowledge in a refreshing and innovative way."

Click here to watch a quick video about the 2020 "Group 4" Annual Science Project.

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