Elementary Students to Participate in Capstone Experience

Fox Chapel Area School District fourth and fifth grade QUEST (gifted) students will be participating in an innovative inquiry “capstone experience” December 20, 2016. The capstone experience will take place at Kerr Elementary School from 12:30-1:45 p.m. There, the approximately 50 students will be working on a design challenge entitled, “Give a Dog a Bone.” Students will be paired with one another and also given a collection of materials. Their task will be to use the materials to design and construct a contraption that drops a dog treat from a table into a bowl on the floor. The teams will then present their invention in front of a judge.

A capstone experience is a multifaceted assignment designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop 21st century skills such as thinking flexibly, creating and innovating, persisting, and working collaboratively. Capstone projects are interdisciplinary and encourage students to connect their projects to real-world issues or problems.

The capstone design challenge experience will follow a visit to Inventionland. Inventionland, “the world’s most creative workplace,” is an O’Hara Township “invention factory” that will help the students visualize innovation. The students will tour the facility and step into each of 16 themed settings where engineers imagine, design, manufacture, and market new products. They will learn the steps of the engineering design process and how to take an idea to an invention. The students will also get to meet engineers and inventors who work at the facility.