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TPS student’s slick science earns her a free skating lesson

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:58 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Remote learning has forced teachers to get creative. They keep looking for innovative ways to keep their students engaged.

The TPS Virtual Academy recently held a contest for some of its fifth graders. The winning prize, a free ice skating lesson at BGSU.

As part of a project-based learning program about speed, force, and friction, fifth graders at the TPS Virtual Academy used household products to build an object that would be propelled down the ice with an exercise band.

“It was a contest to see which project would actually slide furthest down the ice and we literally measured,” said John Keys, the elementary principal of the TPS Virtual Academy.

And the big winner was Jaelyn Deboe, whose winning design utilized bottle caps glued together and a bouncy ball to help launch it from the exercise band.

“When I put it all together, we tested it on our floor to check if it would work,” said Deboe. “And then we checked a water bottle to see if it would work any better. And then we sent it. And then I didn’t think I would win but I did.”

Deboe got to put the science she learned to the test by heading out on the ice herself, along with instructor Laura Fischer, the Assistant Director for Programming at the Slater Family Ice Arena.

Deboe told us that she has roller skated before, but since this was her first time hitting the ice, she was “nervous and excited.”

Deboe was a natural, and Principal Keys says that while project-based learning like this is effective for in-person classes, he hopes this serves as an example for how these activities can be done remotely.

“Give them something tangible that they can actually have and do in their class that makes them take more ownership over their learning,” explained Keys.

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