5 Favorite Unforgettable Things by Kassandra, fifth grader


Recently fifth graders did a project at To sail or not to sail…It’s an exploration!  For this students researched the early lives of explorers like Ponce de Leon, Ferdinand Magellan, and Vasco de Gama. Students learned all about area, perimeter, volume, mass, density, water displacement and buoyancy to engineer a boat, made out of only cardboard and packing tape, that would hold 3-4 student crew members! Students successfully sailed their boats on a voyage of their own at a local lake.

This is Kassandra’s reflection.


For our PBL, “To Sail or not Sail…It’s and Exploration!” We learned about boats and their roles in the early exploration. To do this we did many activities. The five that I enjoyed the most are the Explorer Diary, the Straw Boat Challenge, boat prototype, O’Neil Sea Odyssey field trip and a life-sized boat.

Early in the project we had to make and “Explorer Diary.” The first thing we did was we had to choose an explorer that we wanted to work on. The materials were paper, coffee or tea bag, marker and ruler. We had to study all about the life of the explorer and the routes they took and what they wanted to discover and what they found. We used all the information for our diary. The stuff I learned was how explorers traveled and how and why they went from one place to another.

 In order to know how to build a boat we had a Straw Boat Challenge. We made a boat out of straws, 10 inches of duck tape, and 10 inches of plastic wrap. We had to make a straw boat out of those materials that would float with 25 pennies on it. Each group picked a name for their boat. Mine was named the S. S. Cruiser. We made our flat and covered it with plastic wrap. We put duck tape inside then covred with plastic wrap. Our boat floated for over 1 hour. We won the race, I felt excited that I was successful because I thought we were not going to win.

 We had to make a boat prototype so we could learn what to do for the life-sized boat. The materials we used were duck tape, packing tape and a shoebox. We made it small. Our design was successful. We made the box and covered it completely with duck tape so water wont go in. We had to put on weights inside to see if it could hold the 10 pounds it was suppose to.  Collaborating on this challenge helped how we worked together for the life-sized boat.

 We went to a field trip in order to help us think about the big life sized boat we were going to build. We went to this place named O’Neil Sea Odyssey. We walked around to see the boats. Then we went on a real life sized boat. We went to different stations they thought us about navigation and the ocean. It was really cool to learn about sea travel this way.

Another thing we did was a real life-sized. The materials we used were: cardboard, gorilla tape, packing tape, duck tape, wood glue, box cutters, scissors, sponge brushes, yard sticks, meter sticks, butcher paper, pencil and markers. Once we started making the boat we had to put in reinforcements so it could hold the pieces of cardboard that were weak. We built a bottom 4 sides and made corners. To reinforce we all took our boats to Lake Cunningham to see if they would float with our groups in them. When we came back from Lake Cunningham, I felt freaked out when I fell in the water at Lake Cunningham. My boat was floating but then it was wiggling and we fell in the water, it was really cold.


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