Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Hovercraft Project fosters both academic and 'soft' skills 



What's better than floating on air and whizzing across your school's cafeteria? Nothing as far as students at Bendwood School are concerned. 

From the laughter, smiles, and the thunderous roar of leaf blowers during a recent lab experience at the school, it's obvious that science and math can be fun. What's even more obvious is the powerful lesson about collaboration, teamwork, and community that student participants experienced. 

This intersection between building academics and fostering 'soft' skills led educator Polly Osei to apply for a grant to fund something called The Hovercraft Project for her SPIRAL 3third, fourth and fifth graders.

"The Hovercraft Project meets CORE curriculum and promotes science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM)," said Osie. "It also helps students develop skills they need in the real world. Skills like teamwork, leadership, and collaboration. Skills that will help them secure and retain great jobs." 

This year, SBISD announced the Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate as part of it's vision for T-2-4 for Every Child. The characteristics focus on developing these same skills in every SBISD student. 

Funded by the Spring Branch Education Foundation, the project's makeshift lab took over the school's cafeteria early in April. Students worked in teams to build and pilot hovercrafts during the day-long experience. 

From design to assembly to testing their hovercraft, every team member had a specific job. Therefore, problem-solving and finding solutions as part of a group were critical to the experience.

"If we were all doing our own thing, it would take a lot longer to build the hovercraft," said third grader Zivah Daniels. It's that mindset, combined with the thrill of riding on air, that Osei's students will remember.

For more information about SBISD's Core Characteristics, click here.