Engineering a Structurally Sound Pet Rock Playground

Second Grade Students were reading about pets in their Reading class.  In STEAM students designed pet rocks.  Then, they worked together to design and engineer play ground equipment that was strong enough to hold their pet rocks.  They followed the Engineering & Design Process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create and Improved) and documented their progress in their Engineering & Design Notebooks.  Students created jungle gyms out of craft sticks and binder clips, and they made swings, slides and see saws out of recyclable materials such as, milk jugs, tissue boxes, cardboard tubes, egg cartons and newspaper.  Here is a video summary of their work:


Have you signed up for your SeeSaw account yet? If you haven’t you definitely should!  In our SeeSaw portfolios we are able to post photos, video, notes and links of our STEAM projects.  Your student should have brought home a paper with instructions on how to sign up for our Parent Account.  If you didn’t get your paper, be sure to contact Miss Conroy at, and she will send you the information that you need!  You can visit SeeSaw online or via the app from your tablet or smartphone.




In STEAM we have been emphasizing Computational Thinking by teaching programming or “coding”.  One of our favorite Coding programs is Kodable!  Your child can use Kodable at home as well!  It is available as an app or online.  Be sure to enter your child’s class code.  A list of the codes are below:

  • Mrs. Cosky:  steamkc
  • Mrs. Kennedy: steamkk
  • Mrs. Leseiko:  steamkl
  • Mrs. Thomas:  steamkt
  • Ms. Bennis:  steam1b
  • Mrs. Clinger: steam1c
  • Mrs. Kovach: steam1k
  • Mrs. Malinich: steam1m
  • Mrs. Bischak: steam2bis
  • Mrs. Boswell: steam2bos
  • Mrs. Fetkovich: steam2f
  • Mrs. Somerville: steam2s

BeeBots have Kindergarteners Buzzing about Coding

During the 2nd Nine Weeks, Kindergarteners studied Bees in the STEAM Lab through hands-on coding. First, students worked together to create beehives out of donated cardboard tubes and tissue paper flowers. Each week students learned about the ways bees are helpful through short videos from Discovery Education.  Then, students arranged their beehives and flowers on their BeeBot mat.  Students took turns programming or “coding” the BeeBots to get them to model a task such as:

  • Getting Nectar- Going from the beehive to a flower.
  • Making Honey- Going from a flower to the beehive.
  • Pollination- Going from one flower to another flower.
  • Bee Dance- Going back to the beehive and doing a dance to communicate to the other bees where the flowers are.
  • Two Bees-  The first bee goes from the beehive to the flower and and the second bee follows!

Check out the video compilation of this project below, and be sure to check out your child’s See Saw Portfolio. (Don’t have a See Saw account? Email Miss Conroy at to ask for one!)

Nursery Rhyme Challenges

Students in Kindergarten participated in Nursery Rhyme themed design challenges during the 1st Nine Weeks.  Students worked together as a team following the Engineering & Design Process to create an egg protector for Humpty Dumpty.  We tested our designs by putting an egg in our protector and dropping it from a staircase.  We had a very high success rate!

Next, students were challenged to get the “cow” to jump over the “moon”, by creating a catapult.  Students used a decorated ping pong ball for the cow and a white balloon for the moon.

Finally, students worked together to make a “fiddle” like instrument.  Check out this video compilation of our Nursery Rhyme Challenges, and be sure to check out your child’s See Saw portfolio for more pictures and video! (Don’t have a See Saw account? Email Miss Conroy at

The Three Little Pigs

In 1st grade Reading students read different versions the folktale, The Three Little Pigs. In the STEAM Lab with Miss Conroy, students at Economy and State Street created houses for the 3 Little pigs out of drinking straws, craft sticks and Legos and cubes. Students worked as a team and followed the Engineering and Design process.  They documented their progress in their Engineering & Design Notebooks.  Students read a Reader’s Theater script of The Three Little Pigs to help build their  reading fluency and acted out the play through a puppet show.  Each class filmed 2 videos on an iPad using green screen technology.  Below you will find their final products.  We hope you enjoy them!

Ms. Bennis’s Class

Mrs. Clinger’s Class

Mrs.  Kovach’s Class

Mrs. Malinch’s Class

Full STEAM Ahead!

During the 1st Nine Weeks we will  be emphasizing concepts such as, growth mindset, design thinking, habits of mind and the 4C’s of 21st century learning, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Communication.  Below is an overview of the projects we will be doing this nine weeks!

Kindergarten:  Students will be completing nursery rhyme STEAM challenges!  Our first challenge is to build an egg protector for Humpty Dumpty!

1st Grade:  Students will be designing and building houses for the 3 Little Pigs. We hope to make a movie using our houses.

2nd Grade:  Students will be creating pet rocks and designing playground equipment that can hold their pet rocks.

3rd Grade:  At Economy, students will learn about simple machines and the kinetic artist, Rube Goldberg.  Students will design and create their own “Rube Goldberg” machine. While students at State Street will design and create inventions with Little Bits, electronic building blocks that snap together.

4th Grade: Students will be learning about Forces and Motion through the Hotwheels Speedometry curriculum.

5th Grade:  Students will be researching Native Americans and they will design and create models of Native American dwellings.

6th Grade:  Students will be researching earthquakes and they will design and create a structure.  They will test their structure to see if it could withstand an earthquake.