BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Some of Bronxville’s brightest elementary school students had the opportunity to offer an opinion on an upgraded playground as part of a social studies exercise designed to emphasize teamwork.
Bronxville Elementary School fifth grade students were recently presented with a faux $100,000 budget and challenged to design models for the school playground as part of a project “aimed to develop their understanding of responsible development,” in a relatable, real-life situation.
For weeks, students were asked to identify ways that the playground at the Bronxville Elementary School could be improved, and observed their peers as they utilized the play space. Students then conducted online research about playgrounds throughout the world, deciding on which pieces of equipment would be ideal for the location.
As part of the project, students then used construction materials such as tinfoil, straws, cardboard, pipe cleaners, yarn and colored paper to present their ideal playground as a 3D models.
“The students learned what it really means to work together,” fifth-grade teacher Lauren Geremia noted. “They were motivated and driven to come up with ideas that the Bronxville community would be inspired by. They hope to see some of their ideas come to life.”
During the project, students polled younger students, and determined what would be best for the entire populous of the district. Fifth grade student Nicholas Park laid out a vision that included a massive climbing set, additional swing set and a basketball hoop that all fit into the proposed budget.
“It was fun to see all the different things we could do with our playground,” he mused. “I learned that if you take the time to do something, you can accomplish a lot. We got to be creative by building structures out of straws and tinfoil and slides out of cardboard.”
Fifth grade teacher Vanessa Janec said that the project afforded both the teachers and students a rare opportunity to collaborate and work together as one cohesive team.
“The students worked hard to be collaborative, innovative members of their grounds,” she said. “They learned how to navigate differences in opinion, as well as overcome challenges that arose during the project.
“This project was unique, in that it was very real for the students. The students felt invested in the activity because it was something they could relate to.”
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