April 22, 2008

Problem-Solving from a Lowrider Perspective

Crouched behind a pair of ape-hanger handlebars, the view from a lowrider bike is one of cool individuality. But for students at Atkins Middle School, the challenge of designing and building a lowrider bike has brought a new perspective for solving problems in the classroom to the custom cruisers.

Over the past two months, 48 middle school students from Atkins have been working with Texas Tech Visual Studies students in their art and science classes to create the custom-designed bikes. The 6th and 7th graders were given a budget and timeline to complete the project along with a Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycle, purchased by the T-STEM Center. Everything else was left up to the students’ imaginations.

The finished lowrider creations showcase a mix of art, science and engineering concepts. But what started science teacher Dawn Bullock’s wheels turning were the critical thinking skills that students developed.

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