Eastchester Middle School students embarked on a STEM favorite this month when they created model homes built to endure strong winds and a downpour. The Hurricane Houses lesson teaches the students about aerodynamics and scale.

The sixth grade students in Tom Boissonnault’s and John Blaser’s classes used paper, glue and popsicle sticks to construct their homes. They wore ponchos and drenched the models with water from spray bottles. Then Boissonnault used a leaf blower to simulate the 200 mile-per-hour wind gusts.

Markus Diamintis built a four-sided house with a pitched roof that did not hold up well. “I would design it differently. I would build a six-sided house instead,” he said after the storm ended.

This year, students created individual homes in class and at home instead of working in teams to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Although they could not collaborate, the instructors discovered that the structures were more decorative than in years past. One student even placed a tree and toy cars outside the home.

“I like that we can be creative and still get help from the teachers,” said Olivia Caporaso, who built a home that resembled a brick structure.