Second-graders take a look into the 21st century Students create a futuristic world

June 28, 1993|By Aglaia Pikounis | Aglaia Pikounis,Staff Writer

Before the second-grade classes of Mary Jo Cornes and Suzanne Linsley at Eldersburg Elementary School could enjoy their last weeks with friends in anticipation of a fun-filled summer, they had to think hard about their futures.

Mrs. Cornes and Ms. Linsley asked a futuristic question -- What will houses, cars, restaurants, prices, toys and parks be like 20 years from now? -- and the second-graders responded by creating projects that included flying cars, solar-powered homes, and restaurants and amusement parks on Saturn.

"I'm always amazed at how wonderful the projects are," said Mrs. Cornes, who for four years has included a futuristic project as part of a social studies unit on the community of the future.

"I told them that in my day if an airplane flew by -- even though they had been invented and were being used -- we ran out to look at it," she said.

But what really "blew their minds," Mrs. Cornes said, was the lack of video games, such as Nintendo, when she was a child. These stories helped "spark their interest."

The children "all had so much to say and share about their projects," Mrs. Cornes said.

Sarah Rains showed her flying car and said, "I think that in the future there will be too many houses and there won't be any room for roads so people will have to fly from place to place."

She created the car by filling two cups with rocks and using papier-mache to glue them together.

Tyler Smith spent three days working on his creation -- Ty's World -- a fast-food restaurant with a drive-through order and pickup window; kitchen; a solar panel that "collects heat from the sun to heat the room and send power to the stoves"; recycling bins for paper, cans and bottles; a play area made of Legos with a merry-go-round; and, of course, tables and chairs.

While some of these projects sound a little complicated, Mrs. Cornes said the students were told they could have adult supervision but were supposed to do the work themselves. She saw "very little adult influence" on the projects.

"They are clearly the product of children's work," she said.

Tyler "worked on it every day . . . and he collected everything himself," said his mother, Patti Smith.

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