Woodward Academy’s third grade class used the design thinking process to build rafts used to float Assistant Principal Eric Mitchell across the school’s pool on Friday at Kennedy Natatorium in the Academy's athletic complex. In addition, third grader Hunter E. wrote a press release promoting the project, attracting coverage from two TV stations (Fox 5 and WSB-TV) and a local newspaper (The South Fulton Neighbor). In his press release, Hunter wrote:
"This is a great example of how Woodward integrates hands on learning that is fun and exciting. It has been very challenging, yet lots of fun."
The third grade class was divided into 10 teams. Each team was responsible for a raft entry to float Mr. Mitchell across the pool. The student teams used construction materials found or discarded in students’ homes, preferably recyclable items.
“Finding the right materials is a real challenge," Hunter said in his press release, “not to mention that we have to move the raft from our classroom to the swimming pool after we finish building it." So, size, weight, and durability were also challenges.
Mr. Mitchell proved to be a very good sport and was nothing but enthusiastic about the project from its inception. “This project has been everything our school is about. The students have been beyond excited to work together to attempt to solve a problem. Whether I float or not is not important. It really is more about the process of being problem solvers and having the students enjoy that process," he said.
To watch the exciting event unfold, go to WALive.