Fourth-graders bring Iditarod to Schuylerville

Students in Peter Carner's fourth grade class pose with the dog sled they built as part of their Iditarod unit of study
Students in Peter Carner’s fourth grade class pose with the dog sled they built as part of their Iditarod unit of study

Schuylerville Elementary School students in Peter Carner’s fourth grade class have been using this month’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska to study technology, math, social studies and science.

“The kids truly love following the race and are very excited about it each year,” Carner said.

Since March 6, students have been studying the annual long-distance sled dog race from Settler’s Bay to Nome. From keeping track of the weather and distance traveled, to learning about the culture, the students have immersed themselves in the race.

“Learning about the Iditarod was a fun experience,” fourth-grader Campbell Bailey said.

Fourth-graders in Peter Carner's class pose with dog sled that they built as part of their Iditarod unit of study
Fourth-graders in Peter Carner’s class pose with dog sled that they built as part of their Iditarod unit of study

To make the unit more engaging, each student selected a musher, studied where the musher was from, explained why they chose that racer and kept track of him or her throughout the race.

“I liked picking and watching my musher,” said fourth-grader Landen Cumm.

As a final project, the students constructed a dog sled. Students had to figure out the correct amount of materials needed and what goes into pulling it. At the conclusion of the Iditarod, students took the sled they built outside and simulated what it was like during the race. Each student got to be a musher and pull like the dog teams in the snow.

“I had a lot of fun learning about, building and riding the sled we made in class for the Iditarod dog sled race,” said fourth-grader Hannah King.