Glenview Elementary School’s fifth grade scholars designed and built Tom Sawyer rafts for a special S.T.E.M. activity demonstrating their mathematics, science, engineering, and technology knowledge and skills.
Students made predictions to launch discussions on the most efficient raft designs to pass water tests, weight tests, and distance traveled tests in science class. After days of predicting, designing, building, and testing raft materials, students organized raft races against rafts of similar size, where student design teams competed against other teams in class.
During these races, students measured the rafts’ efficiency using handmade paper Tom Sawyer figures, connecting to the reading of the story completed in their fifth grade Language Arts class. Student design teams made every effort to ensure Tom Sawyer’s safe travel and a successful voyage on the rafts.