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Up to the task

Ripley students compete in Maker’s Lab Challenge

February 16, 2017
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

RIPLEY - While the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons were preparing to face the challenge of the Superbowl on Sunday, Feb. 5, Ripley Central School students were preparing for a challenge of a different sort.

Ripley was the site of a Maker's Lab Challenge on from 8 o'clock in the morning until 1:00 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. Participants were challenged to think, construct and test their way through several different challenges.

Even though it was "Superbowl Sunday," Ripley superintendent Dr. Lauren Ormsby said the event was extremely well-attended, including students from other schools who were at Ripley for a tournament.

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
Ripley student Sophia Gervasio is pictured during Ripley Central School’s Maker’s Lab Challenge where participants were tasked to think, construct and test their way through several different events.

The Maker's Lab at Ripley Central School opened in January, 2015. It is part of the district's venture into EL Learning, which strives to link real-world issues to project-based learning.

When the district began implementing EL Learning, Superintendent Dr. Lauren Ormsby decided to transform the school's technology lab into the Maker's Laboratory. The lab features a 3-D printer, Lego robotics, and what Ormsby calls "widgets and whatnots" that children can use to create things.

The Maker's Lab Challenge invited participants to face trials that would make them think, plan, construct, and put to the test their creations.

Some students attempted to make a shadow box "so that the groundhog can't see its shadow no matter how you shine light on it."

Other challenges included making a Valentine's Day box with a door that opens and closes and can stand on its own, or building a tower out of index cards that is at least twelve inches high and can withstand ten "earthquake shakes".

Other students attempted to construct model cars and race them down a ramp or to design and construct a parachute that could safely land a Lego man.

Ripley faculty member Erika Meredith said "Every time we have a Maker's Lab Challenge, it is great to see the different problem solving strategies that students use and the joy that they have while constructing their products."

Participants also expressed their enthusiasm about the event. Layton Ormsby said "My favorite was the model cars. I made a tank and it zoomed down the ramp."

"I worked with a friend to build the index card tower. We reinforced ours with cardboard and it made it through the earthquake shakes," commented Gavin Eddy.



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