July 21, 2015 — Megalodon, the prehistoric shark, has taken over the Glens Falls Middle School cafeteria.
It was "shark week" for the 6th and 7th-graders in the middle school's summer jump-start program, designed to give students a boost in their core subjects for an even more successful year, come September.
In a matter of days, the 25 students had taken desks, chairs, wooden stays (for the endo-skeleton), foam slabs, chicken wire, lacrosse nets, tarps, and craft paper ... and created a 55-foot long full-size replica of the prehistoric shark. With Megalodon's fins stretching from one end of the cafeteria to the other (and a baby pool used as the giant monster's huge mouth), students even taped out a scale-size great white shark on the floor, for comparison.
The week-long project involved traditional research on Megalodon and study of current-day shark sightings (and last week's news story about a shark rescue at a beach in Massachusetts). The students mathematically calculated the dimensions of Megalodon, as compared to a Great White Shark, then engineered the scale-size replica.
Once "Meg" was constructed, the students led groups of younger children around the scale model, and through multiple discovery stations where they painted sharks, estimated fin lengths, and learned facts about the prehistoric creature. Teachers Rob Manning and Yvonne Anderson worked with their students on this project.
This is project-based learning at its best, because it incorporated all the core subjects ... and even involved ELA class discussion of the "How to Fend Off a Shark" segment of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.
See the CBS 6 News story on Megalodon below: