Five fifth graders at the Foresthill Divide School won prizes for their creativity in popping a balloon and their ability to speak about their popper in front of a group of Lion’s Club members.  The annual event took place on May 13th and 14th.  About thirty-eight students showed off their ability to use four or more simple machines that when working together would pop a balloon.  

This project allowed students to find items from around the home that could be put together to create a pop.  Students learned about how simple machines were used in the past to make life easier for people.   Some of the simple machines used were inclined planes, pulleys, wedges, levers, screw and wheel, and axle.  The fifth graders showed their creative side in putting these together.  Many also decorated and named their machines.  These skills using simple machines will continue to be used by these same students in the years to come.  Putting a wedge under a stuck car’s tire on a muddy Foresthill road will certainly be put to use by one of these students in the future.

 Students also had to give a speech about the building of their machine.  Students were required to use cue cards, but some now use a cue card app on their phone.  This is a tough concept for many, but we are watching the younger generation and new types of machines at work.   Students talked about their balloon poppers not working on the first try.  They talked about perseverance and how they kept trying until there was a deflated balloon.  Some even talked about pieces of their popper that they found on the ground.   

Students were excited to talk about the project becoming a family event.  Grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles, moms and dads, and brothers and sisters all got involved in helping with the project.  Students used drills, saws, pvc pipe, hammers, and watched the adults use routers.  They helped cut pieces of plywood, and learned other skills that will be beneficial in many industries.

The fifth grade would like to thank the Lion’s Club for helping judge this competition and for the prize money for the competition.   Making something of this nature helps students with their creative side.  The public speaking helps them become clear with their thoughts in front of an audience.  Having community members watch and comment on students balloon poppers helps them see that the community cares about the Foresthill Divide School.

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