Friday, March 13, 2015

STEM Showcase

We just had the 3rd annual STEM Showcase for our district. My students did such an amazing job. The showcase was a big hit. There were over 1000 attendees.

The STEM kit for First Grade is the Wind and Me. The students learned about the engineering process and what a mechanical engineer is.

We used the following videos to teach the students about mechanical engineering.

After we learned about Mechanical Engineering, we began our kit. The two experiments we did were Windmills and Sail Boats.

For the Windmills, we first researched Windmills. Then they had to research them further at home and write a report. They were amazing. Here are just a few of them:

The experiment was to take a styrofoam ball, popsicle sticks and index cards. Using these materials they had to create windmill blades. of course, before they create they must design. They were in groups of four. they had to cooperatively create a design of what their blades will look like. then they took the materials and created their design. Then they tested it on our windmill. The windmill was created from an orange juice container, dowel, string, cup and duct tape. If the blades were correct, the cup will rise with washers in it, if the blades do not turn, the students had to go back and modify. The goal is to raise the cup of washers.

The other experiment was to create a sail that will take the boat from one table to another. They first designed their boat. Then they created their sail using any of the following materials: coffee stirrers, popsicle sticks, aluminum foil, index cards, tissue paper, wax paper and scotch tape. The boat base is made out of a styrofoam tray, straws and duct tape. The boat base is attached to the tables using 2 rulers, fishing line and duct tape. Once the sails are created, the kids test them by sticking them into the base and turning on the box fan. If the boat sails down the fishing line from one table to another then they are successful. If it does not they have to modify it and retest it.

The kids had a blast. They did an excellent job designing, creating, modifying and testing. We talked about windmills and wind turbines. 

Here are two books I got off of Amazon that go awesome with this unit:

8 of our students came with us to the showcase and presented their projects. They explained what we did step by step. Here is our display:

Stem is such an awesome addition to the science units. 
Here is my student teacher and the other science teacher who went to the showcase with the kids and who worked so hard to make this a success!

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