Franklin County elementary students think outside the box when returning library books

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Students in one Franklin County class aren't just learning science, they're putting it to work in real-life situations. 

Inside a third grade classroom at Callaway Elementary, students are learning how to brainstorm ideas. 

"You have to take what they're learning in the books and apply it for them to truly carry that learning for the rest of their lives," said Jennifer Haynes, third grade teacher.   

Haynes wants them to think big. 

Her students responded by coming up with a unique way of returning library books. They did it while studying simple machines -- which, if you can't remember that from elementary school -- those are supposed to make life easier. 

"Cullen came up to our table and said, 'Hey Ms. Haynes, how about we make a pulley system so we don't have to carry 20,000 books to the library a mile?'" third grader Cole Grantham said, referring to classmate Cullen Jamison.   

"I told them this was going to be their project. They really took it from the top and worked together," said Haynes. "They had to measure the distance between our window in the library. They had to decide how much rope was going to be (needed)." 

"We had to measure a lot and we had to fix our mistakes," said Cullen.  

"It took all day to build because I wasn't going to solve this problem for them. This was theirs," said Haynes. "They were so excited. When it worked it truly was like Christmas Day." 

It is 143 feet from their classroom window into the library. 

"I was very impressed with the way they were communicating with each other about their different ideas. They weren't saying, 'No you're wrong,'" said Haynes. "They were saying, 'I disagree with you because.' And they were giving different ideas. That is a lifelong skill." 

Haynes hopes students continue coming up with outside-of-the-box ideas to create this school year. 

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