A call for cardboard creations promotes learning at home as hundreds of K-5 students accept the STEAM challenge
Posted on 06/03/2020
Charlie Berger, Pennington Traditional School, Gumball Obstacle Course & Grace and Jacob Casaverde, Chris Yung Elementary School, Marble Roller Coaster;

Hundreds of K-5 students accepted the #PWCSCardboardChallenge to build new and unique engineering creations. With creative thinking and materials found around their homes, they transformed ordinary cardboard boxes into original inventions using the engineering design processes implemented in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) labs, classrooms, and gifted centers throughout the School Division.

“We had a total of 287 entries from 47 different elementary schools,” said Brenda Bailey, supervisor for gifted education in student learning. “Seeing the creativity, excitement, and pride coming from so many PWCS students was absolutely amazing!”

The contest was open to all elementary school students, but the judges had the toughest challenge. Entries were rated on a scale from one to five stars. Judges looked for creative ideas, clever use of materials, realistic design, teamwork, scale, and problem-solving potential. Results were shared by photo or video via social media tagging @PWCSGiftedEd #PWCSCardboardChallenge.

The six student winners, their schools, and their entries are:

• Robert Arroyos, Montclair Elementary School, Musical Instrument;
• Charlie Berger, Pennington Traditional School, Gumball Obstacle Course;
• Grace and Jacob Casaverde, Chris Yung Elementary School, Marble Roller Coaster;
• Daniela Escobar, Bel Air Elementary School, House;
• Subhaan Malik, Swans Creek Elementary School, Star Gazer 2000; and
• Daniel Nanthavongsa, Marumsco Hills Elementary School, Sewing Machine.

Each student or team received a certificate and a prize, delivered to their door.

“It was a brilliant idea and a real highlight of this time,” said Charlie’s mom, Cara Berger, of the #PWCSCardboardChallenge. “It really captured Charlie’s imagination and we loved seeing all of the amazing creations of other students across the county. Especially if distance learning continues in the fall, I hope we can incorporate more long term, open-ended projects for all children.”