Benjamin Logan Middle School sixth-graders culminated the end of their school year with an interactive, team-building event — a simulated Iditarod well known at Benjamin Logan as the “Ikidarod.”
Now in its 19th year at BLMS, this simulation of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has become a tradition and a memorable event for students and staff.
The Iditarod is a 1,200-mile dog sled race across the Alaskan wilderness. The Iditarod always begins the first Saturday in March. The sixth-grade students follow the mushers that are racing in the Iditarod and keep track of their musher’s progress along the course.
Students take on a variety of roles in the simulation, from mushers to veterinarians, race volunteers, dogs, or even act as obstacles that the team may meet along the race trail, such as wild animals or storms.
Participants are eager to demonstrate STEM principles through various activities that include engineering their own sled from a blueprint while applying real-world science, technology and math skills to the study of the Last Great Race on Earth from the curriculum’s Iditarod-themed lessons.
In many ways, the students develop an “emotional connection” to the curriculum while being involved in Iditarod projects.
“The many hours and passionate ideas shared by the students while preparing for the Ikidarod make a lasting impression on the participants that they carry with them into their future endeavors,” their instructors noted.
“It was so fun to watch,” parent Jessie McCoy shared. “I really enjoyed watching the kids work together as a team while having fun. I mostly enjoyed watching them at the different stations cheering and doing their own rendition of ‘I’m a little teapot!’”