Ahoy matey! Are you looking for a Science and Technology project that can be easily integrated into your Intensive ESL Classroom?  This year’s Junior Tech Challenge, S.O.S. Pirates! is a great way to give students the opportunity to collaboratively rediscover the concepts of buoyancy, density and balance, while practicing oral interaction. Arrr!

Réseau Technoscience, along with its collaborators, offer a yearly Science & Technology Learning and Evaluation Situation (LES) for all elementary students in Quebec. The yearly Défie apprenti génie, has been translated into the English Junior Tech Challenge, and is available for Cycle 3 Intensive ESL students, and Cycles 2 and 3 ELA (English Language Arts) students.

Students and teachers are given options to decide in which way they would like to participate in the challenge. They can use it within the school as an engaging and hands-on class activity.  They can branch out into the community by participating in their school board or school service center competition, or even register for the regional competition which takes place yearly in May. Whichever way they choose, students will have the chance to feel that they’ve engaged in a meaningful, challenging and fun activity!

In this year’s challenge is S.O.S. Pirates! students are invited to build the lightest ship possible that will hold as much pirate loot as possible! The students will participate in activities that will prepare them to build and test their watercraft. Each activity consists of simple experiments, using everyday objects, that can be integrated into any classroom.

The LES includes:

  • Progression of Learning for Science and Technology
  •  A section that explains the Science and Technology concepts used in the LES
  •  Three main activities, using everyday materials, where students experiment with the concepts.
  •  A complementary activity that demonstrates 14 easy assembly techniques that include an instruction sheet and a video for any technique chosen.
  • Activities to help prepare, test, re-test and reflect on the process used to build the watercraft
  • An evaluation grid for Science and Technology
  • Media resources to help understand the scientific concepts 
  • Literary suggestions to explore the nautical theme
  • A separate section for Cycle 3 ESL learners
  • A link to register to the Regional Finals in May (optional)

The English version of the challenge is available on the Réseau technoscience website for Cycle 3 ELA  and Intensive ESL students. To find it, you can either navigate through the website by clicking on DAG (défie apprenti génie), or you can find it directly  here.

There’s more!

When you are done with S.O.S.Pirates!, there are 6  more Junior Tech Challenges available in English.  They can be accessed anytime, in this Dropbox on the Réseau technoscience website.  They include a Teacher’s Guide, a Student Handbook, Rules, and a slideshow, which are updated every year. (The only challenge that can be used for the Regional Finals in May is the current one.)

To read an interview about an Intensive teacher whose students have participated in the challenge several times, read Junior Tech Challenge: A Science and Technology LES for Intensive ESL Students.