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Origami exercise improves students’ understanding of math, science

April 30th, 2010 · No Comments · Education

By Brett Ashley Hawkins
Editorial Intern

Sixth-graders in Rachel Welch-Kitchen’s class try to build containers durable enough to protect eggs dropped from eight feet.

Sixth-graders in Rachel Welch-Kitchen’s class try to build containers durable enough to protect eggs dropped from eight feet.

Dramatic Results, an award-winning educational agency based in Signal Hill, set its sights on Hamilton Middle School’s self-contained sixth-grade class last week to provide struggling students a relatable approach to math and science. The agency has helped more than 17,000 students throughout Long Beach and Compton’s public schools in the last 18 years with its mission to facilitate student success by stimulating curiosity and fostering creativity through a hands-on, arts-based style of learning.
Dramatic Results joined Rachel Welch-Kitchen’s class on April 21 for the second of two sessions in which an egg-drop test, a popular exploration of the scientific method involving physics, was performed. The class objective was to construct a durable egg-drop container using origami techniques. After designing those shelters for their eggs out of several varieties of paper, each student group’s egg would be dropped from an eight-foot height. The group would succeed if their egg survived the drop without cracking.
In that day’s session, each group of students was given the opportunity to redesign the container it constructed during the previous lesson to adapt to a higher drop as the previous drop was two feet lower. “In repeating the experiment, students can learn from their mistakes and reinforce an understanding of working as a team,” said Lucinda Rudolph, director of Arts Education for Dramatic Results.
Though all four groups’ drops resulted in slightly broken eggs, Christi Wilkins, executive director of Dramatic Results, believes the journey is just as important as the result. “These students have gained a hands-on understanding of math and physics through something more relatable like art,” she said. “We also try to make the lesson relatable to life skills they’ll take and need to use someday.”

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