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.