Conundrum Day Tests Student Structural Engineers

Lower School students, parents, and teachers gatheredin the Bryan Innovation Lab for a day of problem solving.

On Saturday morning, April 12, more than 40 students in grades 2-5 and their parents gathered at the Bryan Innovation Lab for the first annual “Conundrum Day.” A conundrum is a problem that requires solving, and so Conundrum Day was a special design-and-build, problem-solving event during which students were given the problem of constructing a house that would survive hurricane force winds. The challenge was based on the storyThe Three Little Pigs, requiring students to build a house made of only recycled materials for the “fourth little pig.” The real test came from the wind tunnel, which simulated the winds of the Big Bad Wolf!

Before construction began, Clive Fox, a structural engineer and president of Fox and Associates (and spouse of our own Bev Fox), presented a lesson on structural engineering to give students the basics for constructing their houses. Students then began designing and constructing their houses, which were then tested in a special wind tunnel under the direction of Bryan Lab Resident Scientist Chris Lundberg. They were able to observe the effects of the wind on their structures through a view window in the tunnel, noting the wind speed that was being registered. All of the student creations survived at least 60 mph winds in the tunnel with most still standing even in near-hurricane force winds of 80 mph.

The event was organized by several Steward teachers: Mr. Lundberg, Jane Whitely, Nancy Loyd, Suzanne Casey, Jane Covington, Ron Coles, and Robin Ricketts. In addition, more than 15 parents volunteered to assist with the event, which resulted in many unique and creative models of houses designed to resist high “wolf” winds.

To see more photos from "Conundrum Day," click here





Copyright 2019 The Steward School

The Steward School Mission

Our mission at The Steward School is to prepare our students for college and for life in a community defined by robust academics, inspiration, engagement, and care. We invite you to learn why so many families have chosen to become part of our community.


Explore Campus      Learn from the Experts

Experience "The Steward Way"

The Steward School is committed to the kind of education that recognizes individuality and fosters potential through a differentiated approach. If you value small class sizes, close connections with faculty and fellow students, and a challenging yet supportive academic environment with broad opportunities, then Steward may be the right school for you.


Learn More     Schedule a Visit    Apply Online

An Education as Unique as Your Child

We are proud to offer a comprehensive curriculum to students in junior kindergarten through twelfth grade. Discover the incredible opportunities we provide for each learner.


Lower School     Middle School     Upper School

Explore the World of the Arts

Whether setting the stage, striking a chord, creating a masterpiece, or simply exploring individual talents and interests, exposure to the arts develops important life skills necessary for students to succeed in academic areas and everyday life experiences. By providing our students with multiple creative outlets, we seek to nurture talents, build confidence, and help students discover passions.


Visual Arts     Music     Theatre

One School. One Team.

Participation, skill building, and sportsmanship are the cornerstones of The Steward School’s athletic program. At all levels, our coaching program is dedicated to giving students the training and experience necessary to develop a lifelong appreciation of physical activity, skill development, and, above all, teamwork.


Athletic Calendar     Sports Programs

A New Way of Learning

The Bryan Innovation Lab is a 21st-century, problem-solving environment. Through experiential learning in this cutting-edge facility, students are able to grapple with real world issues, challenging their critical thinking and resourcefulness.


Explore the Lab

Beyond the Classroom

The Steward School is a place of learning for the greater Richmond community through various campus programs. Whether you're interested in attending our annual gala, signing your child up for one of our summer camps, or learning more about LEAP, we welcome you to the Steward community.


Special Events     Summer Experience

It's for Steward Students!

Your gift helps ensure that each student recieves the best educational experieance at Steward. Learn more about the Steward50 campaign, annual giving, and other ways to support Steward.


Learn More     Give Today