Phoenix teacher challenges students to solve heavy desk problem

- They say many great inventions are the result of accidents, but for these eighth graders, coming up with an alternative to their heavy, hard-to-move science tables was a careful and calculated decision.

"We're going through this multiple stages, what they call iterations of engineering, where they've designed them," Jonathan Perrone said. "We're gonna test them, we're gonna re-build them, and see how it goes."

Mountain Sky Junior High School teacher Jonathan Perrone says the challenge was made possible by grants given by APS and the Phoenix Suns, but the rest is the creativity and collaboration by STEM students.

"We do a lot of group work in this class," one student said. "We normally will sit at tables like this, so if we want to have a group of just like four people, it's difficult to separate these tables because they are so heavy."

In typical engineering fashion, the students took on the challenge, submitted designs, and have narrowed the options down to five. Once the prototypes are created, they'll have a final vote during the last week of school.

"Cutting these PVC pipes to the height of the tables that we want, so these will probably be the legs of the tables," one student said.

Fourteen-year-old Pierson encourages any student who wants to test their limits to join an engineering or robotics class because the sky is the limit when it comes to solving problems.

"It was really cool because we go to know what we want to do and then actually got to design it ourselves," he said.

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