5th grade STEM project: MAC6000

5th graders complete massive STEM project 

and donate to ventura county food share!

Mound Elementary's 5th grade class completed a STEM project in which they collected over 6,000 of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese to complete one massive dominoes run. The fifth graders were inspired by another large dominoes run at another school using cereal boxes. Mound's fifth graders met with a nutritionist and learned that mac 'n' cheese has more nutritional value than cereal and can be eaten at multiple mealtimes. The fifth graders met with Ventura County Food Share, creating a partnership to donate all boxes collected. As a magnet school for science and global citizenship, Mound's fifth graders wanted to make a difference in their community.

The fifth graders used math and science to determine the ideal distance and angles to position the boxes. They completed math calculations to determine how many boxes they would need to create the dominoes run from their classrooms at the back of the school campus down multiple hallways where rows of mac 'n' cheese converged together before entering the cafeteria. Then those boxes of mac 'n' cheese separated into several turns and artistic designs...an impressive finale. These fifth graders were responsible for calculating cost, marketing to the school community, and presenting to other classes throughout the school asking for mac 'n' cheese donations. They even presented to the school Parent & Teacher Organization (PTO) asking for matching donations and successfully received more than 2,300 boxes from the PTO. 

This is the second year Mound's fifth graders have done this project with last year's class collecting more than 4,200 boxes. This year's fifth graders set a goal to collect at least 5,000. They surpassed their goal and collected more than 6,000 boxes!

Once collected, the fifth graders measured and practiced. They learned about external factors and challenges, and how to deal with forces outside their control (e.g., wind). Talk about tenacity and grit! On run day, media was invited, representatives from a local high school  came, school district officials came, Ventura County Food Share representatives came, and several excited parents also came to watch and cheer. Fifth grade teachers took photos and videos, which were also "aired" via zoom to other classes across the campus. Students from other classes also lined the hallways as the boxes fell past them. Gasps and cheers were heard across the entire campus as excited onlookers watched. 

After all the excitement of the successful dominoes run, the fifth graders then rolled up their sleeves and collected those 6,000 boxes, putting them in bins to go to Food Share. It was quite a site to see that many boxes going to help so many families. These kids learned a lot about math, science, teamwork, dedication, and leadership. I think the community also learned a lot from them. :)

MAC 6000 - Mound, 2024 Updated .mp4

MAC6000 video: provided by Mound Elementary School

Mound MAC 6000.MOV

MAC6000 video w/ staff & student interviews: provided by VUSD