CMDS 6th Graders Take On ‘E-Day’ at University of Memphis

E-Day, a celebration of ingenuity and all things engineering, was the perfect bridge for CMDS 6th Graders and their STEAM-powered designs and plans.

The University of Memphis Herff College of Engineering hosted E-Day, which consisted of competitions and walk-up activities. Thousands of Memphis-area middle and high school students participated in the event.

Sixth graders from Christ Methodist Day School split into groups and teams that participated in four of E-Day’s competitions: K’NEX Building, Egg Drop Contest, Flash Building and Transportation Challenge.

Teachers covered each of the four competitions in various STEAM classes at school. David Vaughn led the Transportation Challenge in Science class. Mary Cheairs led the Egg Drop Challenge in E-Lab. Erica Lindsey led the K’NEX Bridge Build in Math Lab. And Kim Moon led the Flash Construction in Technology Lab.

Transportation Challenge

Students built K’NEX vehicles powered by a single “micro power spring motor.” On E-Day, the teams had to quickly construct their vehicle to travel a mystery distance. The teams were judged based on the time it took to build their vehicle and the distance their car stopped from the target.

It was great to see them light up when all of their hard work was shown in the success of their car. Two of the three teams were able to stop it in the 1×1-foot box and the other team was only six inches from it. They were all excited and surprised that their cars worked so well!

“I learned a lot about speed and ways to build cars. I loved competing against other schools.” – Walker

Egg Drop Challenge

Students were challenged to design an Egg Transport Vehicle (ETV) to convey uncooked eggs from a first floor landing to the floor, about 15 feet. There were several requirements for the ETVs including the size, mass and materials used.

If the egg survived, it was given a score based on the mass and the number of different materials used in the design. All three CMDS team’s eggs survived the drop in our ETVs, and the students were thrilled.

“I learned that I could always improve my ETV no matter how good it was!” – Olivia

K’NEX Bridge Build

This challenge tasked students with designing and building a bridge that would support a load of 35 pounds for three minutes without failing. On E-Day, the teams had to quickly reconstruct the bridges they had designed in Math Lab.

The bridges were scored based on the time needed for construction and the mass of the bridge.

“I learned that it’s not just about putting pieces together. It’s about strategy.” ­– Delia

Flash Construction

The Flash Construction challenge required that the students design, construct and build the strongest foundation possible to support a tower of textbooks. The materials they could use for the foundation were six 4×6 index cards and up to 2 feet of tape.

The tower score was calculated using the height of the books times the number of books held.

“I learned that triangles are much stronger than squares!” – Axel


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