On Friday, led by Key West Art & Historical Society Director of Education, Adele Williams, Poinciana Elementary School fifth grade students with science teacher Matt Poffenberger, rear, examine a Cuban refuge raft that was discovered 10 miles south of Key West in 1969.

Donated to the Society by the U.S. Coast Guard, the raft was made from saplings sewn together to form a deck with the bow formed from a tree bent into a half circle. Lengths of wood were used to form a hull in which three inner tubes were placed.

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Some 160 fifth-graders visited the Fort over Thursday and Friday of last week as part of a study of Key West industries over a couple of hundred years. Guiding questions for the studies were: How does where you live affect how you live, and subsequently, how do cultures affect one another.

Poinciana Elementary School fifth grade students, left to right, Christopher Medina, 11, Zaria Watson, 10, Reese Kight, 10, Emmy Jackson, 10, and Shylo Sanchez, 10, prepare to launch sling shot rocket ships they made with construction paper, tape, straws, popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and paper clips at Fort East Martello on Friday, during a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program project in which they learned about velocity and trajectory.


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