Computer Science & Engineering Joy Day

On October 20, the Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) Department held its inaugural “Joy Day,” bringing together 5th graders, 8th graders and Upper School engineering students to put their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) skills to the test. The students were divided into 13 mixed groups and charged with planning, building and racing a cardboard structure in Baldwin’s pool.
Led by Computer Science and Engineering Department faculty members Addison Lilholt, Paul Hermans, Megan DeGeorge and Stephanie Greer and Grade 5 Teachers Mallory Becker and Lynnae Swanson, the day started with a debrief in the gym.
Using the DREAM Lab Elements of Agency, Troubleshooting, Productive Risk-taking, Bridging Knowledge, the Design Process, Social Scaffolding and Content Knowledge, students used a lot of materials to create sea-worthy vessels. Each group was given cardboard, two rolls of duct-tape, one roll of packing tape and a mop handle. With these materials, teams did their best to develop creative plans to keep their captains afloat. In addition to the boat, students had to create paddles to help with propulsion, flags to display and "Sea Chanties" to chant as encouragement.
When it came time to race, each crew (two students to help lift the boat and one student to set sail) loaded their boats on the deck and pushed off. All teams gave 100 percent in their attempts to make it across the pool. Some teams made it to the other side, some did not, but all teams showed great joy during the day and during the race, whether in the pool or cheering on from the bleachers.
The following awards were given for each heat:
  • Sea Worthy Award - any team making it across the pool in their boat
  • Full Speed Ahead Award -  for the team that makes it across the pool fastest 
  • The Whimsical Watercraft Award - for the boat that has the most flair and craftsmanship
  • Titanic Award - for the most spectacular sinking 
The following awards were given for actions throughout the day: 
  • Spirit Award - for the team that demonstrates spirit above and beyond
  • DREAM Lab Elements Award - for the team that best documents the application of the DREAM Lab elements during their fabrication process
  • The Joy Day Award - for the teams that consistently promoted a joyful atmosphere and experience for everyone