At Eagle Point Elementary School, students are immersed in science, both in and out of the classroom. Science is considered a “Special Class” just like art, music, media, Spanish and P.E., thus providing students with additional “hands-on” science lessons which strengthen their understanding of concepts learned during classroom curriculum.
Science Teacher Emily Taggart says this formula has proven successful. “Last year, Eagle Point earned top school in the District for science according to fifth grade test scores from 2015-2016. Based on newly released raw test score data for 2016-2017, it looks as though we have held the lead for yet another year.”
Mrs. Taggart says, “science is definitely a priority for students at this Weston School of Excellence.” Its SECME Club once again took top honors at the Broward SECME-STEM Olympiad, where teams from different schools compete in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related challenges that include building water bottle rockets, mousetrap vehicles, balsa bridges and other tasks.
“For two consecutive years, Eagle Point has earned first place in this district-wide competition and our club is only two years old,” boasted Mrs. Taggart. “Even more impressive, the same group of girls won that honor twice.”
In the bottle rocket competition, The Flying Falcon came in first place. This team consisted of two members of the prior year’s winning team, The Speedy Cheetah, Lara Demoraes and Marion Zachs, plus new member, Elke Gomez. All three girls were from Ms. Echemendia’s 4th grade high achievers class.
“Apparently these three scientists have discovered the winning formula for the best designed rocket with the longest hang-time in the county,” shared Mrs. Taggart. “They had a winning time of 11:09 seconds, with the next closest time of 7.78 seconds.”
At the competition, The Flying Falcon was the only group to receive a standing ovation. According to Mrs. Taggart, “You can imagine how thrilled these rocketeers were when they saw their rocket gently float down to earth as the crowd went crazy.”
In addition to the bottle rocket competition, members of the Eagle Point SECME Club also entered the poster and banner contests. Mrs. Taggart says this year the students will compete in the mouse-trap car event, since they have proven themselves so successful.
To prepare for the bottle rocket competition at the SECME-STEM Olympiad, the students create blueprints, design the fins and have a practice launch to test their designs. Mrs. Taggart says they then make any modifications they deem necessary to make the rocket more light weight, more friction-free, or adjust the trajectory. “It is true science, engineering, technology and mathematics at work in this club.”