PALMDALE- Excitement filled the room as teams of students presented their work in a room full of students, staff and parents.
The Gregg Andersen Academy’s 6th grade students on Tuesday stood before a panel made up of Westside Union School District Superintendent Regina Rossall, trustees Joan Sodergren and Gwen Farrell, and Acting Principal Laura Duranto to pitch their designs for an aerial tramway to transport people.
Though no money was awarded in this Shark Tank-like funding competition, each student came away with real world experiences of design, project management, teamwork and a business presentation.
“The presentations today were a fantastic opportunity for our students to show what they’ve been learning to their parents,” said interim Principal Laura Duran. “The students were so excited to demonstrate their knowledge to the other students, their parents, and our superintendent.”
Each team of students presented a well-prepared pitch for a tram system they designed. Each pitch included information on the design, materials used, cost, location and safety of their team’s tramway.
Proud parents in the audience encouraged each group as they tried to persuade the panel that their design was best. Each pitch began with a demonstration of a model of their tramway car sliding down a line stretched between a ladder and milk crate.
The presentations were the culmination of a project as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, focus at Gregg Andersen Academy. Other subjects were also reinforced as students participated in the project.
As part of the project students kept ledgers on costs, selected building materials, developed a company brand and even wrote songs to strengthen their pitch.
When all aspects of the project were considered, team Summit was declared the winner. Their design demonstrated a perfect, smooth test run. They also scored well for a design that allowed for the maximum number of passengers and a good emergency exit plan.
“I was very impressed, though not surprised, by the excellence of the presentations this morning,” said Rossall. “Our students are doing an amazing job of rising to the high expectations we set for them. Today was fine example of this.”