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Knoxville students create “Valentine’s Delivery Systems”

Episcopal School of Knoxville third grade students created Valentine’s delivery systems to bridge science with sweets.
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Episcopal School of Knoxville third grade students created Valentine’s delivery systems to bridge science with sweets.

“I didn’t know anything about simple machines,” said Autry DeBusk, third-grade student, “My first idea that I wanted to do just fell apart.”

But DeBusk made it through the failures to eventually find success.

“They learn to be resilient. Like it’s ok to fail,” said Megan Jenkins, third-grade teacher.

The goal is to use three simple machines, like a lever, pulley, screw, inclined plane, wheel and axle or wedge, to deliver the perfect valentine.

“We get frustrated. And we test some things that fail. And we re-work them. And I just love to see their resiliency in that,” said Jenkins.

DeBusk struggled to take the ideas in her head and make them become a reality using recycled everyday products.

“It made me feel a little frustrated because sometimes when I tried doing things it didn’t work too well,” said DeBusk.

“We actually celebrate failures when we’re in the lab and something doesn’t work,” explained Jenkins, “We actually sit and think about ok why did this fail and what can we do to make it better? And from there they’re able to keep going. I mean, that is lifelong learning I think.”

But that didn’t stop DeBusk or her classmate, Wilkes Kelly, from learning.

“I feel like I’ve gotten smarter,” said Kelly.

In the end, DeBusk succeeded.

DeBusk said, “It made me feel a little better about myself.”

They learned the best lessons may not come from textbooks.

“My biggest lesson that I learned is never give up on something that you really want to do,” explained Kelly.

This project has been going on for 20 years and they plan to continue it for years to come.

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