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STEM Lesson Features Water and Sheep In A Jeep

Ok, people...some of you are on break already, some of you even get done by this next week, but for me...I have to teach until December 22nd. STEM after school classes for the second quarter start up this week which leaves me two weeks before a break.

I have been getting a lot of great questions from educators about finding time for science and STEM in their classrooms which to me can go hand in hand with language arts. However, in our district our language arts curriculum is set in stone, so then what do you do? Finding time to tie in a picture book along with a science concept...followed up with a STEM connection is the way to go!

Here is this week's  plan:
1. Start with a concept you need to cover is science...let's just say water. I have to teach this in 3rd grade.

2. Find a book that can tie it to a lesson on that topic. Let's just pick Oil Spills...

3. Now for an anchor chart...How do we use water? How do we hurt water? How do we protect water?

4. From taking a dropper with one blue drop of food coloring dropping it in a glass of water, you can add more water and dilute it, but that blue is still there.

5. A writing lesson can come of it such as a public service announcement for kids to help kids make good choices about protecting water, you can do a letter to congress, or even a poem.


6. How do you add STEM? We give 20 minutes to create a pipeline that goes from Canada (one side of the table) to Gulf of Mexico (the other side of the table) that is made out of cups, different types of tape or putty, and straws. They are the oil companies and I am the American People. They need to make sure there are no spills so that the water is protected.

STEM Challenge:  Can you create a safe pipeline from one side of the table to the other to show the importance of protecting our freshwater from oil spills?

Objective: Learn about the distribution of water on Earth and the importance of keeping fresh water clean.

Materials: 

  • Oil Spill! by Melvin Berger
  • styrofoam or paper cups
  • straws of various types
  • tape of various types
  • modeling clay/ sculpy (if you want to add this component)
  • towels

I give each group time to draw and design a leak proof pipeline picture. They need to discuss how important it is to be very careful and accurate in their cutting and connecting the pipeline. I ask them where do they think leaks will occur and how can they  make sure it is sealed properly.
Supplies to build a pipe line...

I give them time to create. Most groups have leaks. We share, clean up, reflect and then talk about how important it is that we look at all points of view when determining if it is worth creating something that could have a negative or positive impact economically.

Now, if this is too controversial, I also do an oil spill in a bucket. I have rocks as land, plastic animals are real animals, and sticks and paper leaves that are placed in the rocks as trees. You can also use just three paper bowls with water and a spoon full of oil. You can have a demonstration or in groups where they get three different ways to separate out the oil from the water: skimming: by using a spoon they can try to skim the oil off the top...collecting and measuring how much they were able to skim off the top. Next, you can test absorption: give them cotton balls and have them absorb the oil off the top, squeezing it out to measure this method, and then finally dispersal. Use Dawn dish washing soap to disperse and then collect the oil to measure.

What they will see is that none of these ways are 100% accurate. What could be invented that might be better at skimming, absorbing, or dispersing so it is a better solution to an oil spill?
Cleaning Up An Oil Spill Isn't Easy 

Now show Steve Spangler's video...

Technology is ever changing and this is a new solution to an oil spill. This is a great way to learn what a polymer is! What a great way to have them find ways to help protect the water even as a kid...

I have included a the lesson plan and record sheet for you and your learners HERE!

Looking for more STEM water activities? This pack is where it is at! From Hurricanes to shoreline protection that focuses on erosion...these are the extra resources I use during my FOSS Water Unit!

If you are a primary teacher, I have another great way to integrate something real fast through your rhyming lessons...grab Sheep In A Jeep by Nancy Shaw.

Here is this week's plan:

Objective: How can you create a force that will push a Hot Wheel to a specific location?

Materials:

  • Sheep In a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
  • Hot Wheels one for each person
  • a rainbow paper road/race track
  • color words to pick from so they know where they will push to


What a great way to teach rhyming words, but to also teach about force and motion in the process! Grab some hot wheels, create a road out of the colors of the rainbow papers taped together, write the colors are note cards for the kids to pick from...then set up a race. Discuss giving a force to something...it means a push or pull. The harder you push the more force is acted on it. If I need to get my car to go to the orange on our road, I will push it soft, but if I need to push it to purple I will need to push it hard. What if I had a bigger car to push? I would have to push harder to get motion going because of the mass.  We make this a bit of a challenge...who can closest to the color chosen! They love it!

Grab the freebie. Want more? Grab the whole STEM pack here which includes more science activities, technology component with 12 rhyming slides with Sheep In A Jeep theme, 6 engineering lessons and two math activities along with record sheets and worksheets!

Sheep In A Jeep STEM Pack Found HERE
Five more days...Thursday's forecast is for over 10 inches of snow and Friday is a bonus school wide movie half day and celebration the other half. I think I can...I think I can...enjoy the freebies and ideas! I love your letters and questions...it helps me know what you need!
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STEM Reindeer Activity and Science Connections

When students think about the holidays they often think of Christmas trees, candy canes, and reindeer. Celebrate the holidays through activities that will connect a story book to a science topic...then add a sprinkle of STEM for a great hands on project!

This will allow your learners the opportunity to investigate adaptations that help reindeer survive in their environment as well as add a bit of holiday fun in a hands-on academic way!

Objective: Investigate adaptations of a reindeer to find ways that reindeer are able to survive in the tundra and then apply it by making a reindeer that shows those adaptations.

Materials: 

  • QR codes that show reindeer facts (included in my Reindeer Pack)/ reading material that show reindeer facts/watch a video that shares reindeer facts
  • toilet paper rolls
  • brown pipe cleaners
  • brown pom poms
  • masking tape
  • brown construction paper
I use the Epic Book Reindeer by Dee Phillips. Epic books is free for educators!

Lesson: 

1. What do you know about reindeer? Where do they live and what do you think they do to survive where it is so cold? 
2. Today, we are going to learn about reindeer and their adaptations that they have that helps them survive. An adaptation is a change in the body to fit a location.
3. Read the story Reindeer
4. Now, have them create an anchor chart that has them share what they learned. This is a great spot to introduce the STEM activity. 

If you have the pack...share with them the QR Code Reindeer Game. They will get time to Scoot around the room to find ways that reindeer adapt. This will help them when they create their reindeer out of supplies you will provide.  Give them the record sheet and have them collect information by scanning the qr codes for facts!

5. We then gather to add to our anchor chart. This is where I introduce the STEM activity. They will be creating a reindeer out of the materials provided. They must show adaptations that they learned and be able to provide evidence as to what they learned by drawing and labeling their STEM reindeer. 

6. After giving learners time to create their reindeer, we then share adaptations. We create a herd of reindeer for display in our classroom. If children get done early we have them create a habitat using a box display, cotton balls, green and brown paper, blue paper for water...

7. They each add a fact tent to the display sharing one thing from their facts they collected or what is on our anchor chart! 

I know tis' the season to add some fun STEM, but if you are like me...I am on evaluation and I want to make sure that if we are doing a hands-on STEM project that we are tying it into Science so that the academics goes hand in hand with the S in STEM! 

I have included the lesson and the STEM activity sheet! Sign up for my newsletter for more free ideas! Find it by following this link: STEM Reindeer Freebie...want more? QR codes, adaptation ideas, more STEM connections...find the complete pack here: http://bit.ly/SSYReindeerpack

This was a perfect time to integrate reindeer facts, an adaptation lesson, and STEM connection...on a side note...when I asked my second graders to share facts about real reindeer that live in the tundra before we read our story...each "fact" revolved around Santa and his reindeer. After reading our book and going through our QR code game...they really had a framework about other reindeer, not just Santa's! 
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Winter Science Quick Ideas

Hey...it's Renee over at the Science School Yard where I teach 400 kindergarten through fifth graders science each week! I was asked last week what type of activities can I do quickly in my classroom with no supply budget that will actually teach a quick science concept when students are getting antsy for a break.
Time For Ice Fishing and Magnetism!

Seeing that winter is almost here, and a break is in sight here in the US let's take a look at some primary and intermediate ideas that won't break the bank unlike our Christmas shopping list!

For Primary Classrooms:
-Grab the book Snowflake Bentley and catch snowflakes outside on black paper, then come inside for a lesson on snowflakes followed up with making cutout snowflakes. (No snowflakes? Make them and hang them first! Here is a great video to share as well..

 Did you make snowflakes? Place a poem in the center or quick science facts they learned and you have tied in a writing lesson, too!

-Time to talk hibernation and migration! Lots of animals are getting ready for a long rest. Make a list of animals that might hibernate...ground hogs, bears, snakes... you can also grab a quick pack that will help you teach each part of STEM as well! Find a STEM Hibernation Pack HERE! Building a habitat for an animal to hibernate is can be as simple as getting 10's and 100's blocks out!

Technology connections with smartboard or iPad activities!


Tie in some math and you are set for a great hibernation station!
-Do you have some Hot Wheels or toy cars? Grab some boxes found around school, cut them into pieces to make some ramps, grab some dictionaries from the school library, and you have a lesson on force and motion! Predict what might happen if we make ramps that are steep or not as steep. Test how far a car will travel down a ramp. A tip with littles, if you have tiles...count the number of tiles it went. Then add another book, predict...will the car go farther or not as far? A great STEM connection...have them make their own cars out of milk cartons from lunch, straws from the lunchroom or dollar stores and tape. (You will need to make sure it rolls by creating an axle which could be one big straw outside a smaller straw taped to the bottom of your carton...don't forget the wheels!) Cut wheels out of boxes and you have a cheap way to add a force and motion lesson...or two! Make connections with a great book like Sheep In A Jeep or a great video with lots of easy facts!

A quick video on what ramps are helps them visually learn about simple machines, too! It sure makes work easier!

Back to force and motion...I even taped paper together with the colors of the rainbow and taught them force and motion through a fun and interactive race! They pick a color out of the bucket and then have to push their car to that color...the closest car wins. Did you have to push it soft or hard? Was it close or far? Again...a quick and cheap lesson on motion and positional words!


For Intermediate Classrooms:

-What would we do without water? There are lots of different activities that you can do to learn about it! Surface tension and how many drops can sit on a penny! What do you need? Droppers, pennies, and water. Try salt water and soapy water, too. Want more water ideas? Try surface tension and how water acts on different surfaces. Try what water drops do on paper towel, wax paper, white paper, foil...whatever you have laying around your kitchen or at school. Try a water bead race after making a track on paper. Can they get a bead to follow a path on wax paper? A fun follow up on what a bead of water does on different surfaces! There are some great books out there so give Scholastic's Book list a try!

-Let's look at those Hot Wheels! The fourth grade NGSS Energy Standard has students looking at energy in motion and what happens when objects collide or meet focusing on change of speed. Get those books and set up a way to create a slope with older students, but utilize the standards set for intermediate learners. The NGSS site is a great place to get ideas, here is a great start! How can you tie the standards to a quick energy lesson? If you have cups and string, can you add a sound lesson and make telephones to show how energy is transferred through solids? Could you use flashlights to test how light travels through a glass of water, on a wall when your close and far away? How does this relate to stars in the sky and how distance can cause a star to look bright or dim?

-Use a hanger if you don't have a scale. Place baggies with objects in them to weigh different items. Show that air has weight by having air in one baggie and a flattened baggie on the other end. You can  teach the three states of matter.  Show  ice, water, and steam from a coffee maker. Go on a matter hunt in magazines and make posters. Easily, you can make pancakes which also shows all three states of matter! Mix=solid, Water=liquid, Steam=gas. You can even tie in that it was a liquid, but now a solid! A cheap treat and a science lesson!

-Finally, salt as well as sugar can be a great way to teach solubility by testing which one can dissolve more in water? Sugar is more soluble! Can you place the liquids in lids and evaporate the liquid off? Take a look a the crystals! Observe what is left behind. Older students love snow flakes crystals, too! Snowflake Bentley...here we come!

It is never easy balancing everything you need to teach in a given day...from reading, to math...from writing to science, with a mix of some social studies, how can we make it a bit easier? I will always say integrate when you can. Grab that picture book or non-fiction resource and take a look at the science standards you need to be using...take a look at school for free or inexpensive options. Add written observations, a story, or even a poem and you tied in literacy and writing!

Another great strategy for your supply list... I love putting a donation box outside my classroom with a list of needs. I get egg cartons, toilet paper tubes, and an occasional ball of yarn and even some surprises at times. (a parent donated sparkly silver paper!) When you are creative and resourceful, you can make it work! If you need a bit of guidance...the http://www.scienceschoolyard.com/ is ready to help you make science child's play!

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Energy Goodies On My Christmas List

Now that my electricity unit is almost over, I wanted to find some new resources to add to what I am already doing. I remembered that this spring I got some really fun STEM lanterns from Tenergy, which was a new toy company building STEM products. I used them with my students and it  allowed me to teach how to read directions, as well as how we use energy in different ways. We focused on mechanical energy as well as the idea of potential and kinetic energy . It was amazing to see which one of my student teams could really understand how to follow each step to create a workable lantern!


On Thanksgiving...these lanterns will be on sale and I am picking up a few more to make sure that each group has one to work with!  You can find them on Amazon right here!

Some other fun items I have on my radar for my Christmas list are the GeoRobots which will allow me to add a solar activity to my energy unit this next spring. My eye is on this product because it is on sale on Black Friday! Here is the link for the GeoRobots! Whenever I can add a STEM kit at a reasonable price I am all for it! I have some STEM money left and this does hit two BIG ideas for me! Doesn't this look fun?
So now that I have some Tenergy items ready for my Christmas list...I have my eye on a great TomoRobot for our after school STEM class! I would love to build a robot and this Tenergy item is on sale Sunday! 
I love following companies that have great resources for my STEM and Science classes! Just thought I would share a few things on my STEM Chirstmas list....

What's on your list?
Here are some December ideas for Science and STEM from the Science School Yard~
something for everyone! Don't forget to check out my Gingerbread Activities, too!

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Science and Electricity Lighting Up Our Lives

Each year, with my fourth graders I work with the FOSS Magnets and Electricity Kit. It is one of my favorites I use with any of my Kindergarten through fifth graders. I love the discovery aspect of what each lesson can pose. I love the supplies that are in the kit, but I don't often love the lack of connections that it makes with the real world.

After attending the NSTA (National Science Teachers' Association) Conference last week, it reaffirmed the importance of story telling to make connections with our learners. Why are they doing an activity? What can they take away from learning a particular lesson? How can they connect to the information to retain it?

The electricity portion of FOSS is pretty good...we learn about circuits, but we add energy sticks to get a whole group participation and understanding of open and closed circuits...the small investment is big bang for your buck!


Letting students "discover" electricity is also an amazing ahaha moment in a classroom. Allowing them to find out how to light a bulb with a conductor, insulator, and source is key to their success in knowing how it all works! Let them "play" so that in the end experts can help novices and if you have an ipad it is also a great opportunity to have them video and record their results. We use Explain Everything App to do just that!

 Not only can they go back to see how to set up something they did the lesson before, but they can use it to study from. I also love the idea of using our iPads to review what we know about a concept.

When it comes to electricity, we use FOSS and my Electricity Unit and Resources Pack! I love the flexibility both give me to use the supplies in the FOSS kit, but utilize my sheets to teach the "BIG Ideas" such as parallel and series circuits, conductors and insulators, static electricity,  QR code game review, and electromagnets to just name a few topics we cover using both resources!

What I love is the new STEM activity that I added after going to the NSTA convention. I was inspired to make a story connect to what lessons we have to teach in our classrooms. I gave them supplies that I found in my car as I was camping...but I forgot the flashlight and I need something to light my way! What could I do to make a flashlight? What an amazingly fun STEM challenge and with their background in circuits as well as conductors and insulators they were up for building a Macgeyver like flashlight! This was perfect for a formative assessment of what they knew!


I have also found when I need to review a concept, giving the students the ability to work independently on a review by using a qr code and link on Google Slides helps them not only review, but check their work immediately.  I even found that if I want it to be used as a formative assessment check point I can put the slides on my smartboard and have them answer the questions by circling their answers and having me check their work.
Using all of these different hands-on activities such as the Digital Conductor and Insulator Review Pack has given me the flexibility to have my learners have multiple opportunities to show what they know! From discover...to experimenting...to assessing through QR codes or digital assessments their schema is building and that is what we want! Use  what you have to make those connections in any unit that you are working on...what supplies are available is the start... how can you make it make sense is up to you!

I would love to hear what fun activities you add to your electricity unit!!!
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I Am Thankful For STEM!

For the last few years, I have been adding STEM to my FOSS science curriculum as well as teaching STEM classes at the local university and after school and summer school programs. I love watching my K-5th grade students having ah-ha moments, finding ways to problem solve, and using positive growth mindset! This year, we welcomed many new students to our school after boundary changes and as they were introduced to STEM activities my veteran STEM students were able to explain to them what they were about to partake in. Here are the top 5 quotes I am thankful for:
       
                                                 
1. "STEM stands for Science, technology, engineering, and math and sometimes Mrs. Heinrich even adds Art to make it STEAM!"

2. "It's okay if it doesn't work right away, you can go to plan B and that might just work!"

3. "That's a good idea, but if you tried having a bigger base it might be sturdier!"

4. "We never did STEM at our school. I love STEM!"

5. "Mrs. Heinrich makes Science fun!"

I teach an after school STEM class and on Halloween I had the pleasure of taking every student that showed up at our after school program (which ended up being 12 students out of over 100). I took four high school helpers to join us as well. I set up three competitive STEM challenges: first a pumpkin transporter only using string and a scissors...second candy carrier cars made from candy and had to carry candy...and third candy corn catapults. The students once again told them what STEM stands for when the high school helpers asked. The high school helpers also shared with the kids how lucky they were to be able to have fun in school because they don't get to do things like that and didn't when they were "young". I shared with them that it isn't just "fun"...but so much more. I asked them to step back and watch what they saw. They observed the way they were helping each other...they just fixed a problem by adding to their structure...they were even  trying to explain how it will work when their partner doesn't get it...and even getting the same supplies each group looks different!

 Since Halloween, the high schoolers have "volunteered" in my STEM class and rotate being able to "help". They had so much fun that they now fight over who gets to be in STEM class!

What does this say? That adding STEM is worth a try! That STEM is hands-on fun, yet can tie in academics, the engineering design process, and an amazing amount of reflection and problem solving. Learners are able to share what they made and be proud of their successes! It isn't just engineering and building, but so much more!  Now, time for you to be thankful for STEM, too!

My friends and I over at STEM Activities For Kids would love to share with you a variety of ways to integrate STEM into your November so that you students can be thankful that you did just that! Here are some STEM ideas that I do with my students in November...you will be thankful you stopped on by!

This month, our activities include:
                            Football Games in after school STEM class!

Oak Trees that hold acorns...(kindergarten and the parts of a tree)

Run Turkey Run Mazes...love this one because I used this with an older group and younger group and when the younger kids were done, the older kiddos finished what was started! Love that we focused on what was the structure so far... what needed to be done...and who was going to work on finishing it up! You can see the story line throughout the examples!


Scarecrow making...being taught through Balance and Motion and Language Arts!
All of these STEM Fall and Thanksgiving based ideas can be found in my Fall Into Thanksgiving STEM Pack! Get ready to engage your learners this November!


http://stemactivitiesforkids.com/2017/11/12/thankful-for-stem/

Pilgrim themed activities including boats...pilgrim hats...a shelter...and harvest holders are just around the corner! (fifth grade learning about history and science with after school STEM class connections). Stop over at STEM Activities For Kids to find even more Thanksgiving ideas from my amazingly talented STEM friends to find out ways that they are thankful for STEM, too!




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Science Weekly Digital and STEM Fun!

My week begins on a Tuesday...yes not Monday...Tuesday. Why? Well we are on a day one through five schedule not day of the week schedule. So it is Tuesday and I wanted to share with you what my week looks like! Getting ready for the kiddos this weekend! I love using digital resources to help my littles show me what they know!


Kindergartners:

We are starting our first week of wrap ups on our five senses. To use all five senses we are using popcorn to do that! I will be starting with them at the carpet as I review our senses we already used. (I have the popper started!) All of a sudden we hear something! Then...smell something. By that time they figure out what we are making and we then go to the table that is a safe distance away from touching something hot.

While we wait for the popcorn to cool down we meet at the carpet area to use our popcorn slides as a review. They love being able to come to the board and move the pictures to show what sense we use when we see a magic word such as hot or salty.


When they are done, I send them back to their desks to get a cup of popcorn after I salt and butter it. We start with one sense at a time...with tasting being the last sense! As they use each sense I write down on our anchor chart the property words to describe each one.

I give them a popcorn shape to draw one or more ways they use their senses when it comes to popcorn! I play popcorn music as they work!


We finish up with a short story by Frank Asch called of course...Popcorn!


First Graders: 

This week in first grade, we continue to work with vertebrate. We are learning about Amphibians! My favorite thing to do is find a song that we can learn or listen to that will help us retain information! The amphibian song is one of my favorites...but before we start that we talk about what makes us a mammal. I show them pictures of amphibians and I ask them to tell me what they see. Do the animals have fur or hair...give live birth...Then I show the fun song...

We then create the beginning of our anchor chart. What animals did we hear about in our song? We then move onto our non-fiction book, What is An Amphibian? from Epic Books...free for teachers! We then play a game...Is it an amphibian? If it is...they hop like a frog!

We follow it up with a writing and assessment sheet found in my Animal Classifications Pack that is continually getting updated as I add more ideas and activities!

Animal Classification Pack: Mammals, Amphibians, Reptiles, Fish, and Birds!

When we get done we color a salamander pattern that I found on line!

2nd Grade:

We are using our FOSS Air and Weather Kit. I need to follow a road map that indicates which lesson I should be on at a given times so that our eight other Science Educators and I can cover the same "Big Ideas". At times, I can find ways to add some STEM activities that tie in what we are learning about such as last week's parachute lesson and a Jack and the Beanstalk connection...however this week is air pressure. Not quite as exciting for an hour long class. So, sometimes I just can't make my own extras I call upon the help of Ms. Frizzle! I found a perfect video...Goes On Air... and sheet from Scholastic along with our FOSS syringe lesson. This is okay for me because they can't watch videos in their rooms due to the strict road map they are on for virtually everything. I am glad that I have that flexibility!  Here is the link for the video: Magic School Bus Goes On Air. Here is the Scholastic Classroom Activity Site: Scholastic Magic School Bus Activity Page.


3rd Grade: 

Once again FOSS gets me...we are using our mock rocks to learn about crystals. I brought in a crystal for them to see...we read a crystal book from Epic Books called What Are Crystals...ok I just skimmed and paraphrased for them. That is the beauty of using the smart board to project stories. (As a science teacher with no transition time, I can even put on the read the book to me button at times, allowing me to set up supplies on tables).

Once we are done with an intro to crystals, we review what a geologist is and what they do. Geologists use different experiments and techniques to break apart rocks or look more closely at what they are made of. We share how our mock rocks are used to compare what geologists do to real rocks and then we look at our vials to see what ingredients I might have put in our "recipe". I stress the idea of a recipe so they know that rocks are more than one ingredient and minerals are only one ingredient...just like a recipe.

We discuss evaporation, which I taught last year. We then do the FOSS lesson, but we use our iPads to take pictures and not draw the vial. Once done with the writing, this helps me get them finished...I then let them come to the crystal table which has hand lenses set out as well as the identification chart. We need evidence as to why I put in the ingredient I did! How do you know...is the big question of the day!

We celebrate our learning by eating a bit of rock candy and writing in our crystal ball! Here is the sheet that we used! Enjoy the quick and easy freebie I use with crystals to check for understanding. I take a picture of this with my iPad, then air drop it to them. They put it into Explain Everything!
Free Crystal (Ball) Facts Sheet


Fourth Grade:

We just finished up on our FOSS lessons with magnets. This week, we are reviewing with magnet stations! I set up eight stations that I made in my Magnet Pack using all of the supplies from my FOSS magnet kit, however I also use other supplies that I have for this unit to add some added magnets and magnet toys. Once they are done reviewing they assess their effort and then we review the answers. This helps them focus on getting a certain amount done in the time they have to finish the stations and it also helps my lower level learners understand and review what they might not know yet. Take a look at the stations in action!
I love these Magnet Stations Found HERE! They keep our FOSS magnet lesson more engaging and allow for more assessments!
Fifth Grade:

We are learning about life boats so what a perfect time for this History minor to teach a history lesson! I give each fifth grader a steerage ticket that I made as they walk in the room...of course to the Titanic Theme Song as an instrumental.


I let them pick from my hand to get their fate. First class has nice cushioned chairs and a glass of water. I get them their supplies all ready as well and they sit up front. My second class ticket holders sit at tables away from the front and get pencils, and the third class passengers sit on the floor in the back and share a few pencils between them. They love it!

I use the Book National Geographic Titanic to read to them on the smart board, which once again is from  Epic Books! Once done, we discuss what a life boat is and what capacity means. We share what we know about boat size and capacity! I get them all together and we watch a quick video on what happened on the Titanic and the capacity of the life boats that were launched. It is a perfect connector!

I then share that we are making our own life boats using a controlled experiment model.  I give them each a piece of aluminum foil the same size, the variable how they build and form the boat. We then test how many "penny passengers" fit in the life boat. What a great STEM lesson to tie it all together!

Next week, our FOSS life boat lesson and another STEM project found in my Titanic Pack!
Find the STEM Titanic Pack HERE

So that is my week in review. I didn't mention yet that I am also teaching an after school STEM class...that will be another post this next week!

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October STEM Stations

I see October right around that corner and you know what that means? Halloween, Candy, and Bat Stations! I am so fortunate to be able to teach science, but you know how I love to add STEM to my lessons! This year, I am hosting an after school STEM class and each week leading up to Halloween I am going to be working on a different activity that centers around a fun and timely October theme! Most importantly, I want my learners to understand the science (and math)  behind the activity or idea...from echolocation to push and pull...there is science to add to every great engineering project!

Week 1: 
Bats! Starting this week...I will not only teach the science behind echolocation, we also tie in different types of bats and their characteristics. I will have my kiddos working on building a bat and a bat habitat...from cave to tree as the STEM connection!

Week 2: 
Weaving Webs! We will learn about spiders and the science behind not only how they make their webs, but how spiders catch and eat insects! Once they are done, they will create their own web along with a way to make their web a game.

Week 3:
Getting ready for trick-or-treating with candy carriers! We will focus on capacity...volume...perimeter and area to add some math into our STEM stations! Once they are done, we will measure to see how many pieces of candy we can fit into their candy carrier! I love how they have to figure out a way to create a carrier out of ONE piece of paper!

Week 4: 
Building Frankenstein...perfect to share what they will wear! We will focus on movement of an object along with push and pull! I love putting movement to our Frankenstein designs. These two examples show how their models can slide as well as swing.

Week 5: 
Too much candy? Now, let's build with it! I will host three stations for them to try to wrap up our first session of STEM after school fun! Candy cars...candy playground...and candy corn catapults! We will discuss motion with all three!

It isn't always easy finding ways to find time for science, but if you are adding STEM activities why not find a science and math connection! It is a perfect way to put it all together!

Looking to find ways to tie Science and engineering together? Here are the packs that I am using for my after school STEM classes... from CANDY STEM...  to STEM HALLOWEEN FUN... or even BAT SCIENCE AND STEM... your kids will love a chance to build and connect this October!

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