Innovation Expo Showcases 4th Grade Inventions

Collegiate School 4th Graders presented dozens of creative designs to 3rd Graders this morning in Burke Hall at the Lower School’s annual Innovation Expo. The projects incorporated all of the engineering, technology and science skills the 4th Graders have learned since Kindergarten.
Lower School science teacher Kim Smythe and Lower School Director of Instructional Technology Frank Becker organize the Expo. She says each year, students look forward to showcasing their work to their peers.

“The Innovation Expo offers 4th Graders the opportunity to teach and entertain the 3rd Graders,” said Mrs. Smythe. “The students get a chance to share their knowledge and excite their younger peers with future lessons in these disciplines.”

This year’s 48 innovative projects featured many using Legos, including a cornhole set with hand-sewn bean bags launched from a mini catapult, a Wedo (a robotics hardware and software platform) phonograph that spun The Beach Boys’ Endless Summer album, a bird’s nest that sensed when its inhabitant approached and the habitat of an alligator that said “I’m hungry. Can you feed me?” before chomping (lightly) on one’s hand and then “Thank you for feeding me!” afterward.

Students also created numerous games, an interactive dance mat, spin art stations and interactive walls promoting fitness or posing questions asking the user his or her favorite toy or animal.

“I’m always amazed by the students’ enthusiasm and ingenuity,” Mrs. Smythe said.

Mr. Becker said that although a few technical difficulties occurred the start of the Expo, the students got their projects up and running and demonstrated them adeptly.

“It was a great day to celebrate the students’ accomplishments,” he said.