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Memorial Day soapbox derby in Niagara Falls


Fri, May 25th 2018 03:30 pm
Putting STEAM curriculum in motion
The Niagara Falls City School District, the City of Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls Teachers Local 801 are bringing back an old tradition with new flare. Join them for a soapbox derby at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, Pine Avenue.
  • Schedule:
  • 10 a.m. - Monday, May 28
  • 11 a.m. - "Kickin' It With The Cops" picnic
  • Where: 1200 Block of Pine Avenue (in front of Niagara Arts and Cultural Center)
The soapbox cars have been built, and will be raced by local Gaskill and LaSalle Preparatory School students as part of a science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) curriculum. STEAM is designed to motivate students to take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.
Construction of the vehicles was funded by the school district's 21st Century grant and painting services were donated by Jocoy's Collision Inc.
The Memorial Day soapbox derby offers the opportunity for Niagara Falls students to show off their hard work and have some fun in the process. It also serves as another example of the positive results of partnership between the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls City School District.
The derby will be organized into two car heats, raced by the student-builders themselves. The Niagara Falls Police Department will host a "Kickin' it with the Cops" picnic immediately after the races, on the front lawn of the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. Traffic will be closed on Pine Avenue from Portage Road to 15th Street. Guests are asked to park on side streets.
Mark Laurrie, superintendent of the Niagara Falls City School District, said, "This is another example of some of the progressive and inventive ways we are educating our children. With strong partnerships, excellent staff and interested students, we will continue to think outside the box and offer unique ways to develop our students."
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, "When the city and school district get together, we all win. Our local students and teachers continue to display impressive creativity and ingenuity as partners in community projects. We are proud to be a part of the Memorial Day soapbox derby."
Rich Clark, science teacher/STEM coordinator, added, "The soapbox derby allows our students to see an idea move from concept to finish line, while having fun in the process. STEAM allows teachers to move learning out of classroom into our neighborhoods.

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