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!

Constructing Native American Dwellings

In 5th Grade students were learning about different Native American cultures, so in STEAM they researched different dwellings used by Native Americans.  They watched videos to learn how the Native Americans constructed each dwelling.  They followed the Engineering & Design process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve) to design and build a model of a Native American Dwelling.  Check out their final products below:

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:

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:

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 cconroy@ambridge.k12.pa.us)

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

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss5874026f2a1e2

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss587401e8c4787

Mrs. Clinger’s Class

https://safeshare.tv/x/_pLuLE7k1Og

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss587401849d6ad

Mrs.  Kovach’s Class

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss587402b16af6b

https://safeshare.tv/x/KPrFkzTMSQQ

Mrs. Malinch’s Class

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss587402f42c205

https://safeshare.tv/x/ss5874023f42983

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.