Spaghetti Skyscraper Earthquake Challenge

In 6th Grade students were reading about natural disasters, so in STEAM they were challenged to create a model of a skyscraper that could withstand a 10 second earthquake simulation.  Their structure also had to securely hold an egg.  They used marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti and masking tape.  (They could not tape their egg to their structure).  They had to “purchase” their materials and had to stay within their budget of $4,875.  Spaghetti was $100 per noodle, marshmallows were $50 a piece and masking tape was $25 per inch.  Students had to write checks and complete purchase orders.  They also had to decide whether or not they wanted to purchase insurance prior to construction in case of catastrophic loss.  This unit incorporated the 4 C’s of 21st Century learning, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.  Students also had to be resilient and adopt a Growth Mindset when faced with challenges and set backs.   See how they did in the video below:

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Meet Milo

Students in 6th and 5th Grade at Economy  have been busy building and programming Milo, a robot that can be built with the Lego WeDo 2.0 Robotics Kit.  First, they built and coded Milo to move forward.  Students worked in groups of 3 and each person had a specialized job, to keep things running smoothly.  One person was the “Picker” or the person who found the correct Legos in the kit.  Another person took on the role of “Builder”. The “Picker” handed the blocks to the “Builder” who assembled the blocks.  Then the “Coder” programmed the robot on the iPad.

Next, students added a motion sensor and programmed the robot to stop at a flower and play tune.  Then, they added a tilt sensor to their Milo and programmed the light on their robot to change color when the tilt sensor is moved back and forth.  Last, was the Collaboration Challenge, where students had to get 2 Milos to work together to pull a load. Check out this video summary of our work below.  We hope that the 4th Graders, as well as the students at State Street will be using these robotics kits before the end of the school year! Be sure to check out your student’s See Saw portfolio for photos and videos of their Milo in action!

Algorithms for Algorithms

When students create a computer program they are creating an algorithm or listing the steps needed for something to happen.  Students also use algorithms in mathematics; in this case the algorithms would be the steps taken to divide fractions or multiply decimals.  Students were challenged to create a program in Scratch that reteaches a math concept. By elaborating on their understanding of the math by teaching the concept to others, this will help them store this skill in their long term memory!

Here are their final products:

Mr. Beighley’s Class

Mrs. Brock’s Class

Mrs. Hartle’s Class

Mrs. Keczmer’s Class

Mrs. Ramer’s Class

Mrs. Rupik’s Class

Multiplication the Fun Way

Students in 4th Grade read stories from the book Times Tables the Fun Way that provides tales and visuals to help students remember their multiplication facts.  For example, for 6 x 6 their are the two 6s that are wandering through the desert an and they are “thirsty sixes”.  Thirsty six sounds like 36, so students will remember more easily that 6 x6 = 36.  They recreated these stories by creating a program in Scratch, a free programming software from MIT.  Here are links to their work:

Mrs. Malatesta’s Class

Mrs. Ray’s Class

Mrs. Rusnak’s Class

Mrs. Shumsky’s Class