Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Families Participate in Melrose Public Schools’ Third Annual Family Engineering Night
MELROSE — Superintendent Cyndy Taymore is pleased to announce that the Melrose Public Schools hosted the third annual Family Engineering Night last week, where residents came out to partake in literacy-themed design challenges.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, from 6-8 p.m., approximately 80 families and 123 students attended the event in the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School. The evening was sponsored by Title 1, with support from the Melrose Education Foundation, and open to all families in the district that have students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) strategies, school officials set up a series of design challenges based on children’s literature. Families traveled throughout three rooms and completed self-guided activities, mirroring real-life situations engineers would encounter while working on a project.
“This event continues to grow every year and serves as a great opportunity for students and their families to put their STEM skills to use in a fun, interactive challenge,” Superintendent Taymore said. “This year we chose to bring some of our students’ favorite stories to life by giving them an engineering-based challenge they needed to complete to help characters in the books.”
In one room, families met “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” (by Janet Stevens).
The problem: The billy goats ate all the grass in the valley and they were hungry. They knew that on the other side of the creek there was another meadow full of grass, but they’d have to cross a bridge to get to the other side. However, an evil troll lived under the bridge, and wouldn’t be able to go that way to get to the other side.
The Challenge: Participants decide to help the billy goats reach the opposite side of the ravine so they can eat. Participants must create a model structure to help the billy goats get from one side to the other, while using the engineering design process and only the materials provided.
Criteria: The bridge needed to withstand various weights and cross the provided ravine.
Additionally, residents completed challenges based on “Yertle the Turtle” by Dr. Seuss (where groups needed to build a castle for the king and his subjects) and “Curious George and the Boat Show” (where families constructed a boat that could hold several monkeys and still stay afloat.)
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Margaret Adams, instructional coaches Paula Jones and Melanie Acevedo, and the five elementary school principals attended the event to assist families with the process.
“The children love to come and see their building principal running a station and it is a wonderful opportunity for them to interact with families in a casual setting, while exposing them to the engineering design process,” Jones said.