We are learning about forces and simple machines in grade 3. To help us understand how simple machines work and to solve a real world problem of a zoo animal being trapped in the moat in its habitat, students are using VEX construction kits to build each simple machine and conduct experiments with them. They also get plenty of practice using 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, and critical thinking as they work in groups to build them.
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
First and second graders have been learning how to program a computer by playing an "offline" coding game where they have to give directions to a robotic dog to get her home without stepping in any puddles! This game encourages collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. It also helps students understand that we have to give computers directions in the exact order we want the directions followed, and we have to be specific in what we want them to do. We then moved onto programming in Scratch, Jr. which is an app developed by MIT to help young learners understand the basics of coding, (it's a free app available for Apple devices). Students have worked in partners when coding to help grow their communication and collaboration skills.
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Kindergarten has been learning about pushes and pulls and how these forces make objects start moving, stop moving, and change direction! We have learned we can make big and small pushes and pulls, and that they can go in any direction! Students read a story with children who wanted to put up a swing set in their backyard, but had to move many rocks out of the way before they could do that. They had to move many rocks a long distance. Students used their knowledge of pushes and pulls to design and build an invention that would move many rocks easily across the backyard. Then we tested them out by pulling or pushing these inventions full of blocks up and down a ramp and across the carpet. If some rocks fell out, they changed their design and tested again!
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Grade 2 engineers have been working on learning the science behind what makes a popsicle melt in order to build the best "cooler" they can to keep a popsicle frozen for 30 minutes! In a group, they designed their cooler, including materials they thought would work best. During the next class, they built the cooler. After that, comes the testing step in our Engineering Design Process and measuring how much liquid melted off. Small numbers mean a successful design! Finally, students explain to the class how they built their cooler, how much water had melted off, what they think worked well on their design, and what they would improve. Then, we have a real popsicle treat to finish off our hard work!