Mason Middle School eighth graders in Laura Tonkin's Physical Science classes took hands-on learning to a whole new level (way, way UP!) while celebrating innovation. On October 10, Festo and the City of Mason provided Mason Middle School students the unique opportunity for some incredible authentic learning as part of a week-long celebration honoring our community's innovation. Mason Innovation Week 2.0 is a continuation of an exciting partnership that began last year to commemorate the City's 200th birthday.
“My students were able to apply their knowledge from our Motion Unit, practice what we are learning in the Force Unit, and even look ahead to the Energy Unit,” shared Tonkin. “They worked through cross-curricular activities involving math, science and history. The wonderful Festo employees shared their knowledge with my students and gave them a chance to see how what we learn in school translates to future careers.”
Seven groups of 20 MMS students spent the day at the Mason Golf Center moving through seven learning rotations. The stations included two Physical Science Investigations, a Social Studies Mini Lesson with the Mason Historical Society, a Festo discussion about Flight Four Forces, both a Hot Air Balloon ride and math challenge, and finally a design piece where groups identified design pieces or scientific discoveries that had to be discovered in order for the design of the blimp to function. Mason City Schools Academic and Innovation Coaches helped structure the day, and guided the eighth graders through the stations.
“I started off the day with an amazing surprise to ascend in a hot air balloon with my friends. It was so cool to be next to the pilot and to see everything he does to work it,” shared MMS eighth grader Meghan Hartley at the October 10 Mason City Council Meeting. “At the outdoor station, I learned how to find the height of objects by knowing how far away I was and this was really interesting to me because I got to learn new ways to use math.”
“I learned how to apply the formulas of science that we were using in class to solve real life problems,” added MMS eighth grader Ria Narang. “Though I did not get to go in the hot air balloon, which is probably good since I am afraid of heights, I did get to learn how to apply science to real life situations. I also learned how the City of Mason has evolved through innovation.”
About the Partnership
Festo’s unique bio-inspired automation, industry-leading education and training significantly enhances Mason’s strong bioscience and technology hub. Festo and the City of Mason’s public-private partnership has been valuable in attracting professional talent and bringing community-wide collaboration and education to regional partners and residents.