ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - What started as a fun reading project has now expanded into a full-on parade based on the book "Balloons Over Broadway." Fifth-grade students read the book and then built their own balloons, putting on a parade for the younger students who lined the halls at Masons Cove Elementary School.
The same balloons you'll see in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Pikachu, the Pillsbury Doughboy and SpongeBob SquarePants. It is the third year for the event.
It's part of STEM learning - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Learning how to design projects based on specific requirements, support weight, keep the parts together and planning a parade is harder than it looks.
"I learned that sometimes once you design something it's a lot harder to make in real life when you don't have all the materials you thought you would have and now I know that you should always design what you think you can build," said Jameson Vaughan, one of the fifth graders.
"I hope that they learn about team building, creative problem solving like they learned about in the book. I hope they learn about family traditions and school traditions and how its important to develop those," said Leigh Shanks, Masons Cove librarian.
The parade has been such a hit it has now expanded to three other schools, Fort Lewis, Bonsack and Penn Forest. Masons Cove is already planning for next year and hoping to include instruments the students make.
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