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    From classroom to construction site – Students at Franklin Elementary get up-close look at excavator as part of STEM project


    Students in Katie Jacobs’ fourth grade class at Franklin Elementary worked on building hydraulic powered claws in class during the month of May. This end of the year STEM project led to seeing life-sized machines up close and in person. Jacob’s students were treated to a 10-minute demonstration of an excavator on-site on May 26. This is part of the construction for the new gymnasium, a voter-approved 2019 Capital Construction Levy project.  

    Jacobs wanted her students to think about how to engineer a claw. She usually shows the students videos of real-life, construction site claw machines, construction digger machines and cranes. Students would normally look at these machines so that they can see how to potentially design a rotating base, a two- or three-piece arm that can move up and down and a claw grasper that can open and close. One day while driving onto campus, she realized the school may have some of these machines as part of the new gym construction. Jacobs asked the construction team if this was possible and they setup the demonstration. The students stood at a safe distance drawing the mechanics of the arm and other aspects of the machine on their sketch pads. The construction team showed the students what an excavator could do by scraping the ground with a log, picking up and dropping the log, and digging a hole.