McAuliffe Charter’s Mousetrap Car Challenge Tests Students Engineering Ingenuity

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The following is a press release from the Christa McAuliffe Charter School.

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FRAMINGHAM – Christa McAuliffe, a free public charter middle school, is accomplishing hands-on education in a virtual world.

McAuliffe is excited to share the launch of another schoolwide STEM challenge. Thanks to a generous donation from a local Natick resident who was inspired by our last schoolwide STEM challenge, we are spending the day before winter vacation conducting another school wide STEM challenge that will allow scholars to tinker with a design and also compete in several categories including Fastest Car, Goes the Distance, Stuck in the Mud, Tik Tok Build, and more.

Families picked up grab and go bags last week that included a mousetrap, a 5×7 piece of thin cardboard, a roll of duct tape, two straws, four thin cardboard circle coasters, two small wooden circles, one zip tie, two skinny bamboo skewers, one thick sturdy skewer, a roll of embroidery thread, and many tiny rubber bands! Some kits came with two tiny rods and four plastic wheels. Additional materials can be added at a scholar’s discretion. While the supplies were mostly the same for each scholar, we are excited to see how our scholars create their own unique version of the mousetrap car.

Executive Director Frank Tipton noted that “this STEM project invites scholars to think creatively and in an interdisciplinary fashion. By including award categories based on design and process, we emphasize skill-building as well as high-quality work – a perfect alignment with expeditionary learning.”

We look forward to sharing our scholars’ creations in early January.

If you are interested in learning more about McAuliffe, please register for an upcoming information session at mcauliffecharter.org/infosessions.

The Christa McAuliffe Charter School in Framingham is a diverse public charter school for scholars in grades 6 – 8. The school’s hands-on curriculum cultivates high levels of scholar engagement, responsibility for learning, and enduring character growth. www.mcauliffecharter.org

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