River Cities

Miami Springs Middle School students caught "dropping eggs"

Miami Springs Middle School students were seen last week throwing eggs on school property. But nobody got in any trouble because teachers were in on the act, too. It was Miami Springs Middle School’s 17th annual Egg Drop Contest and it was all for a great cause: learning.

Miami Spring Middle School is focusing a lot of attention on the important subjects of science, technology, engineering,and mathematics. The school is a Get S.E.T. magnet school that emphasizes science, engineering and technology. MSMS also boasts the iPrep Math Academy with a state-of-the-art mathematics lab.

School administrators, counselors and teachers have a great working relationship between the school, the home and the community, and it shows in a variety of ways. Milam’s Market recently donated 660 eggs for the hands-on learning that went on during the egg drop contest. That’s 55 dozen eggs destined for demise and destruction all in the name of learning.

“Students are using processing skills and critical thinking skills as they test the variables,” said MSMS science teacher Katie Ortiz. “They’re learning about aerodynamic distribution as they create their egg containers to withstand the force and ensure it’s not under too much stress while being dropped. It’s a fun project and it gets the students excited. It has the wow factor that the kids are looking for.”

Students began the discussion in the classroom and continued the project at home as they had very specific criteria to follow when creating a container that will prevent an uncooked chicken egg from cracking when dropped from a height of 1, 2 and 3 meters.

Most containers were unique, ranging from cubes, to cylinders, and even a sphere or two. A noticeable favorite with the teens were containers that were once iPhone boxes, modified with bubble wrap and foam lining. Much like the students, no container was alike.

Students were allowed to bring in their structures and containers early to make sure they were legal size. The day of the event students brought in their finished projects and the fun began. Three rounds later, with close to 500 students participating, led by five science teachers, just about two dozen eggs survived to the end. The finalists will face each other at the school’s science night where the final contest will take them to even greater heights.

With S.T.E.M. subjects at the forefront, MSMS principal Kimberley F. Emmanuel recently had some great news for the students. Susie Castillo, District 5 School Board member, selected Miami Springs Middle School as one of only 10 schools within Miami Dade County Public Schools to participate in a joint venture with the United Teachers of Dade and grant support from the National Education Association where students take the trip of a lifetime without ever leaving the school, thanks to Captain Barrington Irving and his cutting-edge Flying Classroom.

Captain Barrington Irving became the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world in a single-engine airplane at the young age of 23. He made the trip to show other youth that if he could achieve his dream, they could too. Much like Glenn Curtiss did, Captain Irving gave up many commercial offers and business opportunities to work with and motivate youth to pursue their dreams and spread their wings.

The Flying Classroom project is designed to spark student interest and engagement with S.T.E.M. topics by following Captain Irving and his crew as they navigate a total of 30 stops within 12 countries across three continents. At each destination, students and teachers are viewing experiments in real time. The lessons expose students to a wide range of topics, including the science behind aerodynamic flight, with a stop in Dayton, Ohio, and the mathematical principles behind engineering a rotating skyscraper with the team’s visit to Shanghai, China.

The atmosphere at Miami Springs Middle School is based on harmony, motivation and a desire for excellence. The academic aspiration for the students is evident when you speak to the teachers, the counselors and the administrators. With the community support and involvement by local businesses like Milam’s Market and people who want to give back like Captain Barrington Irving, the sky is the limit. As the staff, the parents and the community work together by combining efforts, talents and abilities, Miami Springs students are on their way to achieving their dreams and creating opportunities to make their own great contributions to society.

If you’d like to witness more hands-on learning, Miami Springs Middle School will host their Science Night on Dec. 3 where the finalists of the egg drop contest will take the challenge once again. To learn more about Captain Barrington Irving’s amazing journey, visit www.flyingclassroom.com.