Building Skills with Dams

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The fourth- and fifth-grade Argonauts at CBS were challenged by teacher Lorraine Marcis to create a dam that could meet certain criteria. Working in small groups, the young engineers researched dams, planned and sketched what they thought would be the best solution, planned their materials, and finally built and tested their design. Materials included sponges, rocks, clay, sand and straws. The completed dam was required to be able to hold one liter of water for 30 seconds, have a “gate” that could open to let controlled water through for another 30 seconds, and close to completely halt water from flowing again.