Scientists at play

Gordon has spectacular open spaces that are open for unstructured play every day.

 

Within each broad vista, there are dozens of small-scale projects happening simultaneously.

 

This morning, second graders were climbing the spider web to the highest elevation on campus.

 

They weren't there for the view.

 

They were up there testing a paper airplane, and watching it drop twenty feet.

 

Climb, launch, tweak. Explore, create, improve. They worked at it for the entire twenty minute recess.

 

Gordon's pond feeds a stream that wends its way across campus and into the bay a half mile away.

 

Today, a crew of fourth graders walked a stretch of the stream, one foot at a time.

 

They were following the course of a small foam truck.

 

The students have been testing buoyancy and ship design at recess over the past few weeks.

 

The first trials were with apple cores.

 

Paper boats had traveled poorly.

 

Almonds wouldn't even float.

 

Popsicle stick boats, with plastic drinking straw stabilizers, had been the reigning champs until today.

 

The foam truck was still moving nicely when "all in" was called.

 

It had almost even made it to the human dam.

 

Back in the classroom, it dried on a desk as its owner worked. 

 

The next recess, and the next speed trial, was coming up in two hours.