Sled Dogs and Spheros
For the third year, members of The PA Sled Dog Club visited the Mission Ops room at HMS as an extension of the 7th Grade language arts curriculum which has students reading Jack London's, The Call of the Wild. The Call of the Wild is a story that examines many themes and provides insight regarding dog sledding, Alaska, and the history of the late 1800s and early 1900s..
Students learned first hand from Dan Rehak and Heather Walls (best-in-snow.net) about: the rich history of dog sledding, the differences between modern day equipment and the type that was used in The Call of the Wild, the demands of dog sledding (on both humans and dogs), training for competitions, the history of Alaska, and maps of races. Students were able to examine various pieces of equipment that are actually used when dog mushing. Most memorable, however, was the opportunity for the students to meet four experienced sled dogs who are all experienced runners (some even competed in the Iditarod-twice!).
By the end of the week, curricular concepts were brought to life and memories and friends were made which will last for many years to come! Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Dan, Heather, Bang, Casey, Kelly and Boo!
New to the Sled Dog experience this year, students in Mrs. Himes and Mrs. Mertz's 6th period classes participated in a STEM experience to connect with the novel. Using the Engineering Design process, students were tasked with creating a dog sled out of materials they purchased in the Race General Store. The working sled had to attach to a Sphero robotic ball that served as the dogs. Each team had to design a sled that could carry their cargo and travel through the course in the fastest time.