The Marshmallow ChallengePosted by Carlene Gordon
Our fourth graders are up for any challenge…but especially one titled, “The Marshmallow Challenge.” Students were given precise measurements of tape, spaghetti, string and one marshmallow. The challenge was to build the tallest, free-standing structure possible with the marshmallow on top. This was a lesson in design-failure-redesign…officially called The Engineering Process. We learned that things often need to be redesigned multiple times before a viable solution is reached and failure does not mean the end. We also learned that scientists support and help each. Great resilience and team building skills emerged in the fourth grade science classroom today!
Do You Hear That?Posted by Lloyd Mitchell
Sixth grade continues to explore robotics! To gain a better understanding of how sound waves travel and are measured, we first used an app for measuring the room’s sound in decibels. We then used our robots to see how various different sounds are measured so that we could understand how to program the robots to successfully follow sound commands. Our initial trial run ended in a robo crash, but trial 2 proved successful! We are about to begin our culminating activity in our robotics unit – students will use their new sensor skills to program the robots to tackle a real world problem with automation. We look forward to seeing the results of our hard work!
El Tiempo – The WeatherPosted by Ms. Fernandez
After studying the Spanish vocabulary needed to discuss and understand the weather, Grades 3 and 4 built their very own weather stations in the Makerspace. The students enjoyed expanding on what they learned in Spanish class by going deeper into the science of weather and designing their own weather stations. Their simple construction materials included paper cups, popsicle sticks, strings of hair and more.
6th Grade and The Menger SpongePosted by Eric Werner
If you see sixth grade mathematics students hoarding business cards in their lockers it is because they are knee deep in the construction of a Menger Sponge. A giant, 3-dimensional fractal built entirely out of creased business cards, the Menger Sponge is a year-long 6th grade mathematics project that picks up where the 5th grade Rubiks cube curriculum leaves off. Following themes of algorithmic process and requiring generous helpings of patience and persistence, the Menger Sponge continues to show students that there is more to math than crunching numbers. Each final product will consist of 2,400 cards and appear as a massive cube nearly 2 feet in height, width, and depth! Stay tuned to hear more about the development of the project…
Transferring Energy With A Disturbance – A Fun Disturbance For 8th & 2nd GradesPosted by Craig Knebel
The 8th grade is studying waves in science and learned that the scientific definition of a physical wave is a “disturbance that transfers energy through a medium.” In lab, the 8th graders researched the two main kinds of physical waves: transverse and longitudinal. They were then assigned the task of transferring energy in a slinky down the stairs. The excited disturbance of the 8th graders outside their classroom, led to some cooperative learning with the second grade…and several races!
Programming Robots to Work Autonomously!Posted by Lloyd Mitchell
6th Grade continues to progress through their robotics unit! We are studying sensors and programming the robots to use them so that they can work autonomously. We began this project by asking the big question of what makes a robot autonomous? As we looked around the room and thought about the broader world, we realized just how many different sensor based items there are.
We have tackled a touch sensor that triggers commands when pressed, a light sensor that allows us to teach the robot to follow lines and a ultrasonic sensor that uses sound waves to calculate distances from objects. The students’ understanding of sensors will be critical for their next robotics project – looking at real world issues and problems and developing solutions using robots. Stay tuned!