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Port Clinton first-graders make Immaculate coasters

Alex Green • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Immaculate Conception first-grader Cotey Saffran didn’t hear questions being asked to him about his work-inprogress.

He was focused, meticulously taping styrofoam cups together as part of a roller coaster replica. 

It was more fun than traditional classroom assignments for Cotey and crew as the young ones learned about forces of motion.

They also did their best to make future concepts for Cedar Point.

Educators from 4-H Youth Development travel throughout Ottawa County bringing STEM-inspired programs and other educational programs to schools, such as “Forces of Motion” that went to Immaculate Conception Thursday.

“‘Forces of Motion’ is the educational standard for this age group,” said Kathleen Booher, extension educator with Ottawa County’s 4-H Youth Development. “It fits STEM and Common Core. The kids really love it wherever we go” The kids used every second of their two 45-minute periods to craft masterpieces without much more than some plastic hollow tubes and rolled up poster board. They groaned when time ran out.

The point was to teach them about basic physics concepts: gravity, friction, push and pull forces. Another was to get the marble from the start to the end. Some marbles got stuck, others zipped throughout the projects. “Did we win?” first-grader Dawson Scott asked when his group’s marble reached the finish line. All the students were winners this day, he was told. Student Bryce Nickel said he is much smarter after 4-H stopped in his classroom.

“We learned how to make a roller coaster,” Bryce said. That’s a productive day’s work, Bryce.

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