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Skyscraper Project at Geneva Middle School North Reaches New Heights

Jay Neitzel’s 8th grade class at Geneva Middle School North recently took part in a skyscraper-building competition. Their creations surpassed former record-high buildings built in the class.

Eighth graders Logan Hunter (left) and Craig Hope stand with their first-place winning skyscraper. Credit: District 304
Eighth graders Logan Hunter (left) and Craig Hope stand with their first-place winning skyscraper. Credit: District 304

A skyscraper-building competition in an eighth-grade class at Geneva Middle School North reached new heights as the tallest skyscraper was built at 20 feet, surpassing a past record of 10 feet, according to a District 304 press release. 

Jay Neitzel’s 8th graders at Geneva Middle School North, located at 1357 Viking Drive in Geneva, recently completed a unit on Industry and Urban Growth, during which they learned about the Industrial Revolution and the growth and expansion of cities. 

In addition, students studied past inventors, prominent businesses, and captains of industry, according to the news release. 

As a culminating activity, students researched a skyscraper, invention, and/or department store and then created one of their own to demonstrate understanding of the objectives. 

Although there were three options for the project, the majority of the students choose to build skyscrapers, and Neitzel said there seemed to be a new emphasis on trying to break the record for tallest skyscraper.

“Students were eager to challenge themselves and see what they could develop. I was blown away by the effort and innovation that the students demonstrated this year,” Neitzel said. “It is very rewarding to see them get so excited about an assignment.”

The original record (set during the 2012-13 school year) measured in at 10 feet, 2 inches tall. This year’s tallest skyscraper by Craig Hope and Logan Hunter came in over 20-feet tall, and there were several others reaching over 15 feet.  

Each year, 10 completed projects are nominated by teachers and then voted on by students. The top three finishers have their pictures taken with their projects to be added to the wall of fame in Neitzel’s classroom.

This year’s top three finishers are:

1st place:  Craig Hope and Logan Hunter

2nd place:  Teegan Ebel, Jake Holst, and Patrick Hughes

3rd place:  Emily Anderson and Courtney Schmidt

Source: Geneva District 304 press release 

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Lou Pierce February 27, 2014 at 01:32 PM
That took a bit of work. I wish the author of the article had taken just a moment to describe the type of construction the boys used. Also, I think their subject deserves a mention: it's the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Marla Olson February 27, 2014 at 04:31 PM
I would also like to know what these skyscrapers were made out of.
Jeff Golden February 27, 2014 at 04:43 PM
Agree - curious as to what type of materials were used.

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