SDPC celebrates 2014 JetToy Challenge winners

COUNTY — A team of students from Forest Acres Elementary School took top honors in the 2014 School District of Pickens County JetToy Challenge.

The first-place winners are Forest Acres’ “Enthusiastic Emus” (Hayden Hughes, Ben Freeman, Alexis Craig, and Sydney Thompson). The second place-winners are Crosswell Elementary School’s “Wan Squad” (Dalton Blackburn, Jase Greer, Nyheem Muhammad). The third-place winners, also from Forest Acres, are the “Hawks” (Kelly Carver, Chaps Nations, and Charlie Pitts). Artistic design winners are Ambler Elementary School’s “Pumpkintown Pioneers” (Will Kelly, Abby McHenry, and James Martinez) and West End Elementary School’s “Patriots” (Raleigh Adams, Elana McMahan, Jayda Liner, Harper Wilson).

The “Enthusiastic Emus” will go on to the international competition in Detroit on April 9. The “Wan Squad” and “Hawks” moved up to the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Regional Competition last Friday at Daniel High School for another chance to win a spot at the international competition.

The JetToy Challenge is part of a fifth-grade curriculum that blends science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) lessons. Fifth-grade teachers learned about the JetToy Challenge when they attended training for the Society of Automotive Engineers’ A World in Motion program.

In the JetToy Challenge, a fictitious toy company asks students to provide a variety of interesting designs for a new line of balloon-powered vehicles that will appeal to other children. The vehicles are made from inexpensive, common materials. Working in design teams, students build and test model JetToys using different nozzles. Then, they collect and analyze data to understand the effect of nozzle size on the performance of the toys.