четверг, 28 апреля 2016 г.

October STEM Challenges!

October STEM Challenges!
October STEM Challenges!

October is upon us, which means that Halloween is right around the corner! Fall has also arrived, and with it comes a world of opportunities to incorporate STEM activities into the classroom that can directly tie in to the season. There are countless fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities to do with your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going this autumn season!

Eyeball Catapults

Dress up a ping pong ball and you have one creepy eyeball to launch! Students can use plastic spoons or cupcake liners as the resting place for their eyeball. All they need to build the catapult properly is some Popsicle sticks and some rubber bands. It is trial and error, discovering what engineering works and what will not work! Students can contend to see whose eyeball will fly the farthest and spook the competition.

Extended Learning: Can students design a more complex style catapult?

***For materials, scroll down to the end of the post!

What’s the weight?

Gather classic fall materials like mini pumpkins, candy corn, pine cones, ears of corn, a bundle of leaves, and some apples. Ask the students to estimate what they believe each item will weigh. Once they estimate, ask the students to construct a scale to measure the weight of each item! They can then compare and contrast, or work on addition and subtraction—what is the weight of the pumpkin plus the weight of the ears of corn? Can you subtract the weight of the apple? The possibilities are endless!

***For materials, scroll down to the end of the post!

No-Bake Baking:

Access to an oven at school isn’t always common, so no-bake treats are a dream come true! Google is full of recipes for no-bake pumpkin pies, and usually these pies just including adding gelatin and allowing time for the pie to chill in a refrigerator. Students will use measurement skills, math skills, and even science skills as they learn how gelatin shapes the pie.

DIY Slime:

This one might get messy, but what’s Halloween without a little mess? Slime always excites kids because it’s different from anything they’ve ever felt. There are a plethora of simple recipes online for slime, but most include white glue, water, Borax powder (easy to find in the laundry detergent aisle), and some food coloring for fun. Bring some measuring spoons and maybe a few paper cups for the students to mix in and you’re in for a slimy surprise! Making slime works on how different substances come together to make the slime and some measurement skills.

Have students take a simple piece of paper and construct it into a flying “broom” on which they can place a witch they have drawn. Cut the witch out and place it into the student’s flying contraption, and then see how far the witch can fly! It is paper airplane-building Halloween style, and it’s a great way to incorporate engineering skills and the scientific process—which kind of folding technique will be most beneficial? Does the weight of the witch affect how the “broom” flies?

Haunted House:

By far the coolest project to take on would be a haunted house. This kind of project is the pinnacle of STEM. Students first collaborate and brainstorm ideas for what they would like their haunted house to be like (your classroom environment will work just fine, unless you can grab the gymnasium!).

**They can even model their design ideas using a shoe box in small groups and then as a class vote on their favorite design!

Once the class decides which elements to incorporate, and whether or not they’d like it to be scary or silly, the engineering part begins! The students will need to think of materials that they need and how they can build their haunted house and make it work. They might want different lighting or music, which means that plenty of technology is going to be incorporated. The students will become engineers as they build their haunted house, setting up different zones and areas and maybe even bringing in their DIY slime as a surprise for their visitors to play with. As the teacher, you can ask the students to summarize their findings once they have visitors—how many students came through? How many where teachers? What percentage of students were scared? The possibilities are endless!

Integrating seasonal activities into the classroom can sometimes be tricky, but with STEM, fall and Halloween are easy!

Original article and pictures take http://studentsavvyontpt.blogspot.com/2016/10/october-stem-challenges.html site

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