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Rube Goldberg Project Gives Trailblazer Students A Break From Tests

HIGHLANDS RANCH - It’s the time of year when PARCC testing is on the minds of kids throughout the district. Many students are looking for something to give them a creative outlet after testing for hours at a time. At Trailblazer Elementary in Highlands Ranch that “something” is the Rube Goldberg project.

Kids have been skipping recess and taking a working lunch just to take part. “They PARCC test and then build, PARCC test and then build,” explains Assistant Principal Julie Crawford. “It started a couple years ago with just a simple idea and it’s turned in every year bigger and bigger.” 

Imagine an entire room filled with a large contraption composed of pulleys, ropes, jugs, balls, marbles, phones, and slides. The purpose is simple - apply a Band-Aid to a table without touching the Band-Aid.

It’s the ultimate in trial and error. The students have tested their invention 52 times. Crawford estimates that it was successful eight or nine times. The goal is to build what she calls G.R.I.T. - “guts, resilience, integrity, and tenacity.”

In addition to grit they are also developing the important skills of teamwork and problem-solving. If you ask the kids, they’ll just say they’ve been having a whole lot of fun in between tests.



April 19, 2017 | By ccheline | Category:

District News

Last month, the Board of Education passed a resolution tasking the Superintendent to convene a task force inclusive of members of the general public and staff members. This task force will develop a survey for parents of students eligible for special education services and a survey for staff members who serve students eligible for special education services.

Board members sitting at the dais

CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.

“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”

Eleven Douglas County School District schools have been named recipients of the 2017 John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards. The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an "Exceeds Expectations" rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.