Lee Students Become Cranberry Raft Engineers

Students became expert cranberry engineers learning all about the fruit and using them to build cranberry rafts!

With toothpicks as connectors, they carefully constructed their cranberry rafts of all different shapes and sizes. Their first goal was to make sure their raft would float in a tub of water. The second goal was to find out how many objects - small stones, plastic animals, blocks and toy cars and trucks - they could add to their raft without sinking it.

They built and rebuilt their rafts, testing them over and over again. Teacher Becky Branch said it’s a great hands-on activity for them that incorporates science, engineering and math. “They love doing these kinds of things and just experimenting with different ways to make their rafts work,” she said.

The lesson also included a little history about the cranberry and even a taste test of different cranberry products.

Americans reportedly consume about 80 million pounds of cranberries during the week of Thanksgiving, and they are one of the few fruits native to North America. The berry has small air pockets inside them that make them float and make them perfect for cranberry engineers to design and build their cranberry rafts!