Students build model cell towers

PARKERSBURG – Eighth-grade students at Hamilton Middle School spent time Friday morning trying to construct model cell towers.

Students were given three daily newspapers, 25 feet of string and masking tape.

The goal is to get a transponder (an egg) as high as possible, said Keri Dunn, a manager for Pickering Associates, an architectural and engineering firm in Parkersburg.

Working in groups of five, students have roughly 45 minutes to construct a tower to support the egg.

“The goals are to build for height and strength,” said Tom Wheeler, assistant principal,

“Some of them are pretty impressive,” Dunn said.

About 200 eighth-grade students, working in groups of five participated in the annual event. There were also two groups of teachers working on the project but with only half the materials.

The annual event is sponsored by Pickering Associates, Hamilton’s Partner in Education. The top five towers received prizes.

Myla Kreinik, counselor at Hamilton, said the project started several years ago when officials were looking for activities for ninth grade students during testing. Students needed to be out of the building during testing and Kreinik said Pickering took them for the a half day and worked with them on these projects. The annual program – not done in the gym – has been a mainstay at the school for close to a decade.

Wheeler said the activity encourages critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving. It’s also a hit with students.

“The students get excited,” Wheeler said. “It is a lot of fun and an active activity.”