STEAM Toboggan Challenge Returns After a Four Year Hiatus

After a four-year hiatus, the annual Fergus vs. Elora toboggan races have made a return!

Grade 7 and 8 students from St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Fergus ventured over to St. Mary Catholic Elementary School in Elora, where the students spent the morning building cardboard toboggans that they later on raced in both speed and distance categories.

“Individual teams of 4 students are asked to design, construct and test a toboggan made of the provided cardboard and roll of duct tape. Each toboggan will participate in both a timed race, and a distance trial.  Teams will be judged on planning and design, quality of construction, visual appeal, teamwork and team spirit, knowledge of essential skills, safety and cleanliness as well as the toboggan's speed and distance travelled,” shared Ryan Lawrenson, Experiential Learning lead for Wellington Catholic District School Board.

Competitors were all given two 4’ x 8’ sheets of ¼” corrugated cardboard donated by Cascades Containerboard Packaging - Guelph, duct tape, pencils, chart paper and a yummy pizza lunch to fuel the build.

“This is a STEAM challenge where students get to design, build and test their projects and enjoy some school-to-school competition,” said Lawrenson. “Each team began the competition with approximately 20 minutes to design and sketch their toboggan on the chart paper provided. The design will be shown to a judge and evaluated and will be considered in your final score: higher degree of detail and how closely your finished toboggan resembles your design results in a higher point total.”

Students were scored on construction which allotted points based on quality of construction, planning and design, safety and team spirit, visual appeal, and then fastest time down the hill and furthest distance traveled!

Although all students enjoyed a fun day of outdoor activity and experiential learning, ultimately it was a team from St. Joseph CS in Fergus who finished the day victorious.

“A special thank you to Kody Kirton, Chris Lane, Brian O'Donnell, Justin Di Loreto, Lowell Butts and Kirstie Hamilton for making the day a possibility,” added Lawrenson.