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Grade 4: Designing a Sail

In Grade 4 science this month, students have been learning about energy, how it can transfer from one object to another, and how different materials can affect this. To put this knowledge to the test, specifically in terms of wind energy, fourth graders in Mrs. Jackson's class designed their own boat sails. To start, students were given various materials, including tissue paper, wax paper, felt, index cards, plastic bags, and cups, to craft their sails. The fourth graders were faced with the challenge of selecting a material that would most effectively capture the wind to propel their handmade boats. The sails could be any design or shape that they chose.
Upon completing this challenge, the students assessed their sail's effectiveness by attaching it to a raft and placing their design on a 7-foot-long track with fans. Together, they measured their success by how far and how fast the boats went. Following this experiment, the fourth graders answered questions about what materials and shapes worked the best and why bigger sails are not necessarily always better.
 
Next week, the students will take their lessons on wind energy a step further by designing windmills! 
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.