RACINE — On Jan. 17, the eighth-grade class at St. Catherine’s High School, 1200 Park Ave., unveiled research collected during the Gravity Cruiser Design Challenge they participated in during the first semester.
The Challenge was part of SAE International’s A World in Motion program and revisited theories and concepts the students learned as seventh-graders while working on the A World in Motion Fuel Cell Project.
The project centered on the creation of gravity cruisers for a fictional toy company, Earth Toy Designs. Over an eight-week period, student teams did the work of scientists and engineers overseeing every aspect of cruiser production from idea generation to design to experimentation to data assessment. Students also were tasked with creating an overall marketing campaign. They designed company logos, brochures, ads, commercials and a business proposal detailing why Earth Toy Designs should choose their cruiser for mass production.
“Students were encouraged to begin with the end in mind,” said Diane Putra, middle school science teacher. “From there they began testing, logging activity and making decisions.”
At the conclusion of the project each team displayed their cruiser and presented their proposal at a special event. Teams were graded in a number of areas including design, creativity and teamwork. Top scoring teams were The Massters of Momentum (Luke Veranth, Jason Bates, Connor Phillips and Ryan Shea) and Wheels in Motion (Laura Panthofer, Natasha Robles, Sophie Torosian and Elizabeth Renguette).
The other teams participating were the Potassium Pandas (Lucia Debernardini, Rachel French, Mike Brown, and Kate Kelley), the Glittery Gravity Girls (Leah Kostos, Delaney Polzin, Sarah Busey and Emma Madden), M.A.N. Inc. (Mara Lake, Ashley Bean, and Natalie Witek) and Toyland Testers (Alec Smith, Ian Maynard and Simon Freeman).