In a fantastic fall finale, the Fourth Grade was given a design thinking challenge to create a device that could “chunk” pumpkins. Catapults and trebuchets can be found at local farm markets and other locations during the Halloween season for launching full size pumpkins. The challenge for the fourth graders who wanted to participate had several guidelines:
1. The machine needed to be designed and built by the student at home
2. The machine had to be portable and fully operable by the student alone
3. The machine needed to harness human power and could not use any outside power source
4. Students could not spend more than $5 on materials, but found materials could be used
5. Students had the option to launch a candy-corn pumpkin, a small gourd, or a full-sized pumpkin
On Monday, November 4th, the full Fourth Grade assembled on the varsity soccer field to test their chunking devices. The students were supportive of every effort, whether successful or not. The fun was in the challenge and in the variety of what the students created. A follow-up discussion of process and how each participant knew he/she was “done” involved all students in the grade. Congratulations to the chunkers and the innovative thinkers of Fourth Grade!