Phoenix sixth-graders compete in Survivor-style game

During the final week of the school year, Emerson J. Dillon Middle School sixth-graders participated in a variety of interdisciplinary competitions in the hopes of becoming the ultimate survivor.

Designed in a similar format to the TV show “Survivor,” students had to test their knowledge, skills and abilities while strategizing and searching for hidden immunity idols. Their goal was to outwit, outplay and outlast their classmates in different STEM and interdisciplinary competitions.

“The overall goal was to create an interdisciplinary project that would include all academic areas along with art and technology,” said EJD teacher Nicole George, who spearheaded the idea. “I also wanted the students to work together and learn about what it takes to succeed as a team. Many of the students worked in groups with students they had never worked with before, so they had to figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Some of the competitions included creating a DaVinci bridge that could support weight, developing a catapult, making papyrus and other activities. When all the scores were tallied, two teams came out on top and were crowned the ultimate survivors: the team of Preston Slater, Makenzie Keller, Connor Ashby and Damien Ramacus-Cassidy; and the team of Lucy Bergman, Gianluca Quattrocchi, Camden Burns and Isabella Kasten.

“It was extremely rewarding to see the kids not only excited each day, but also so engaged in the activities they were doing,” George said. “They learned how to use new technology and how to problem solve while doing STEM challenges. This was so successful, I’m sure it will become an annual end-of-the-year event!”