Community Day Exemplifies CTRA, RMS Bond

Community Day Exemplifies CTRA, RMS Bond
Will It Float

One by one, the instructors added more metal washers to the makeshifts boats floating in large blue kiddie pools. With each ounce, teams of 5th and 9th graders held their collective breaths: would their structures hold, or would this be the tipping point that capsized their little vessels?

Regardless of the actual results, the experiment was another exemplary collaboration between Riverside Magnet School (RMS) and Connecticut River Academy (CTRA).  The two interdistrict magnet schools are run cooperatively by LEARN and Goodwin College, located on the latter’s riverside campus in East Hartford. CTRA is a high school that emphasizes environmental science and advanced manufacturing, while RMS is a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school that practices the Reggio Emilia model.

CTRA hosted a Community Day on Friday, September 20, dedicated to service projects and outreach. Groups of students headed into the community to work with agencies and businesses, while others worked with RMS.

In the CTRA science labs, the 9th graders became the teachers. They challenged RMS 5th graders to construct boats made of simple materials like straws, duct tape, and paper cups to float and withstand the weight of the metal washers. It replicated an experiment the high school students tried during their own 9th grade orientation. While a fun experiment, the RMS students learned basics of manufacturing by maximizing their resources and working together to solve problems.  

Across the campuses of the schools, students collaborated on a number of other projects and activities. At RMS, CTRA students read one-on-one with youngsters. Back at CTRA, high school students were busy serving pancakes, bacon, and gallons of syrup to hungry RMS 4th graders and members of the East Hartford Police Department, including Chief Scott M. Sansom.

Meanwhile, crews of students participated in Source to Sea cleanup of the Connecticut River, taking CTRA’s own research skiff to a riverfront park in Hartford to clear the area of garbage. Among other unsavory items, the students found a bicycle and several bags worth of trash that eventually would have polluted Long Island Sound.

The day was a success and set the stage for more interactions to occur between the two schools throughout the 2019-20 school year.
boats in the pool
Data check
River Cleanup Crew

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