ACE students practice ingenuity through da Vinci Academy

Elementary and middle school students in the ACE afterschool program discovered that Leonardo da Vinci was not only a famous painter but also an inventor.

Crockett Elementary, Long Elementary, Gutierrez Middle School of Arts and Sciences, and Vela Middle School students participated in the da Vinci Academy where they learned more about Leonardo da Vinci, his famous inventions, and made their own creations.

“It was interesting to learn about what this man did all these years ago, and how he was so influential to this day,” Vela Middle School sixth-grader Kyrie Galvan said.

The students began with research and then used wooden materials to build replicas of some of da Vinci’s inventions such as the ornithopter, the catapult, and a few other inventions.

“I like that we got to work together to build and learn about the catapult,” Crockett Elementary third-grader Jazmin Coto said.

Completing these replicas allowed students to practice teamwork.

“Working as a team made the research a whole lot easier because we had different sections for each person to work on,” Long Elementary student Ryan Cavazos said.

The experiences of the da Vinci Academy also expanded their research skills and creativity.

“We liked that it was helpful and that we got to use our creativity to come up with our invention.” Crockett Elementary third-grader Violet Villarreal said.

The inventions the students created aimed to solve everyday problems.

Kyrie Galvan, a sixth-grader at Vela Middle School, made a facemask with a zipper to make eating while wearing a mask much easier.

“It was very frustrating to try and eat food with a mask on,” Galvan said. “A lot of my family members did not like to take their masks off when they were eating at a restaurant. My invention is a mask with an open slit down the middle with a zipper you can open and close when you need to.”

Crockett fourth-grader Yohali Cavazos and third-grader Violet Villarreal created a hand sanitizer holder with a suction cup.

“We created a hand sanitizer holder for people not to forget where you put it, and also for easy access for different heights,” Cavazos said. “Here at Crockett, we made it easier for teachers and students to access it.”

Long Elementary fifth-grader Eric Mendoza made a wind turbine to help save birds.

“I got inspired to create this invention because I heard that at wind farms there are dead birds and bats on the ground,” Mendoza said. “So, I thought, why not make a little sensor to give a signal to the turbine to stop spinning when birds get near? Then solar panels will attempt to get the turbine started up again.”

Harmony Martinez, a sixth-grader at Gutierrez Middle School, made a handmade pouch to safely hold everyday essentials.

“You can put your pens, pencils, or even your phone, and you can carry it around everywhere you go,” Martinez said. “It was actually really fun making it.”

Several other students from each campus participated in the academy and designed some amazing inventions.

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