Sixth grade science students in Dan. Halland’s class at Highland Elementary School have been learning about buoyancy, density, pressure, gravity, surface area and volume all while building aluminum foil boats to test their knowledge. The boat’s mass specs are 5.8 grams and each boat had to float and hold two pennies or five grams.

    Sixth grader Gunnar Groven’s boat held 403 pennies which is over 1,000 grams or 2.2 pounds.

    “We did this last years too. Just any STEM activity that is gaining interest,” Halland explained. “Can’t recall how much last year’s held but was around 300+ pennies.”

    “Marcia Scholler's class is another class I teach science with as well,” he added.

    “It amazes me each year.,” Principal Chris Trostad boasted. “Bridges (the) first year held 50 pounds, two years later 150 pounds with less than a pound of popsicle sticks and clue.”

    “Now a boat made out of foil that holds more than 100 pennies more than last year,” he added. “It’s really incredible the jumps in student knowledge each year and how much more the bridges and boats hold.”

    Trostad told the Times that Halland also had engineers from Widseth Smith Nolting & Associates speak to the students as they also study buoyancy and engineering. He added that Highland School recently received Title IV funds with each grade receiving $2,000 for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.