Making a Home for a Monster!

In this Kindergarten STEAM unit, students worked with a partner to make a monster out of glow-in-the-dark beads and pipe cleaners. Then, they were challenged to make a shelter for their monster that would be worth I’d be dark enough to make the monster glow! Students reused recyclable materials like milk jugs, tissue boxes, cardboard tubes, newspaper and egg cartons to build their monster homes. Students tested their design and made improvements!

Advertisements

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:

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 cconroy@ambridge.k12.pa.us to ask for one!)

What is STEAM?

STEAM

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.  In the STEAM lab, students will  connect their learning from all subject areas through cross-curricular projects.  Our projects will be aligned to the PA Core Standards and will draw on inspiration from our McGraw-Hill Reading and Math series so that students will connect not only what  they are learning in Science in Math but also in Reading and Language Arts. We will strive to make real-world connections and provide authentic learning experiences for students.

In the STEAM lab we will emphasis a Growth Mindset, and promote positive Habits of Mind. The STEAM lab will be a place where students are encouraged to make mistakes so they can learn and grow.  We want to establish a classroom environment that gives students the freedom from fear of failure.

Here is a video that explains Growth Mindset:

Watch this video to learn about the 16 Habits of Mind:

In the STEAM Lab students will utilize problem-solving and higher order thinking skills.  We will also promote the 4C’s of 21st Century Learning:  Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking

.4cs

Watch this video to learn more about the 4 C’s: