We are making our mark and ready for a great year! After reading The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, we explored the meaning of creativity and how we show that everyone's ideas are important and matter. Then we created our own masterpieces to see where one dot can take us. One dot can launch the journey...
Multiple Intelligences Activity: Today we explored the different ways that we are smart through station activities and self reflection about our own learning styles. We looked at eight different types of intelligence (logical, verbal-linguistic, interpersonal, intra-personal, musical-rhymthic, bodily-kinesthetic, visual-spatial, and naturalist) and engaged in actives that supported each learning style. Then we shared with the class what we learned about ourselves and others.
Save Fred Team Challenge: How can you and your partners save Fred using only 4 paper clips? You may not touch Fred, the boat (plastic cup), or the life preserver directly with your hands! The teams worked together using creative problem solving and teamwork to save Fred and get him safely back on the boat.
Open House Night: Thank you to all of the parents who attended the GT Open House! It was great to see you and your support of the program is greatly appreciated. Thanks, also for trying the brain buster challenge the students selected for you and for participating in the STEM Cup Challenge.
Candy Corn S.T.E.A.M. Challenge: The teams were asked to design and build the tallest, free standing tower using only the materials that were provided (a cup of candy corn and 100 toothpicks). Each team used problem solving and collaboration to design and sketch their plan, test out their ideas, and reflect on their results. The students learned individual and group accountability in this cooperative challenge and were assigned roles to help their team accomplish the group's task.
Marshmallow Tower S.T.E.A.M. Challenge: The teams were asked to design and build the tallest, free standing tower using only the materials that were provided (20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of masking tape, 1 yard of string and a large marshmallow). They explored how using good design techniques and proper distribution of mass is beneficial when building a tower with weak materials
N.A.S.A. Touchdown Challenge- The team's challenge was to design and build a spaceship lander with a shock absorbing system that will protect two “astronauts” when they land on the moon. The teams discovered how different forces affect the design and planning of their structure and explored the principles of kinetic and potential energy.
Thanksgiving STEAM Challenge: The students used their creative problem solving and collaboration skills to create structures for Pilgrims and Wampanoags based on specific design challenges. They shared their results with the class and reflected on ways to improve their design by using reinforcements to strengthen weak materials. They also learned the importance of using good collaboration skills by listening to everyone's ideas when working in team challenges to accomplish their goal.
Gumdrop Structure S.T.E.A.M. Challenge: The teams challenge was to use 10 gumdrops and 20 toothpicks to design a houselike structure that could hold the weight of a large textbook. They had to consider which shapes are stronger and perform best as a base to support more weight. They also explored ways to strengthen the joints and how the roof affected the house's ability to be tested.
Vladimir the Science Reindeer S.T.E.A.M. Challenges: The students faced several holiday challenges including designing a sleigh for Santa, inventing a new toy for the elves, and building a candy cane ferry to help ship toys and cargo to the North Pole. All of these challenges involved collaboration, creative thinking, and emphasized engineering skills. They did a great job and were very successful. Happy Holidays to all!
Geometry Exploration: Our next unit has begun. We are exploring the characteristics and attributes of polygons. The students created Geometry Monster Glyphs to describe themselves using polygons according to their specific traits by using a polygon classification key. The students worked together to solve tangram challenges. Next, they are creating tangram stories using polygon shapes. Check back soon for more pictures of their progress.
Tinkercad Exploring: The students had a presentation on learning how to use Tinkercad to design 3D tangrams using computer aided design from the BBP library. The tangrams will be printed using the BBP library's 3D printer for the students to use to create 3D characters and settings related to their original tangram stories. We were grateful for the time and efforts from Mr. Steve who helped us with our creations!
Field Trip to StonyBrook University: We had a great day of learning and touring the campus. We worked with students in the fields of medicine and biomedical engineering who taught us about DNA. Then, we learned how to extract our own DNA and created an amulet (our genes in a bottle). Next, we leaned about box turtles and their importance to our local ecosystem. We were taught how to find out their age and to determine their sex using samples that were provided for us. We also visited the STEM Innovation Lab where we worked with college students who taught us about the iCreate classroom and we tried to solve different challenges they set up for us using our creativity and problem solving skills. It was a busy day filled with fun hands on learning experiences and we were so grateful for the time and efforts of the students we got to collaborate with.
Long Island Science Center Visit: The students learned about the job of an ecologist and our local ecosystem. They analyzed the water quality of water samples taken from the Peconic River by looking at the pH and turbidity levels in the water. They learned about the local plant and animal species that live near the river and how the water quality affects life in that area. Finally, they identified food chains and interlocking food webs in the Peconic River ecosystem and discussed the interdependence of organisms in the area.