Friday, February 9, 2018

Mining Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are studying about the different energy sources in science.  While we were learning about coal, we decided to try our hands at mining!  The soft cookies represent the surface mining and the hard cookies represent the underground mining.  Students just need one of each type of cookie and a toothpick.



Students quickly realized that mining is tougher than it looks!  It was really hard to get whole chips out of that hard cookie.

Click here to grab the cookie mining lab for just $1.25!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Boston Tea Party Labs

We are working on the Revolutionary War in Social Studies and the kids had a blast working on these science labs!


Kids can test 2 different questions with these labs.  They only need tea bags, cups, salt, and water!

Grab your FREE labs here!

We then moved on to the STEM Challenge for the Boston Tea Party.  With very limited supplies, kids had to make a crate to hold a tea bag that will stay dry for the longest period of time. 


 

Click here to purchase the Boston Tea Party STEM pack on TPT!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Building a Pipeline - Energy Sources


We are currently studying the 10 energy sources in class.  As we were discussing natural gas and petroleum, students built pipelines.  It was much tougher than we thought it would be, but many of them ended up being successful!

You will need (per group):

- aluminum foil - (4 foot section works well)
- 3 styrofoam cups (we used the larger size)
- 15 straws (we got bendy ones)
- roll of masking tape
- handful of craft sticks
- cup of blue water
- napkins or paper towels (for clean up)

We talked and shared some ideas as we worked.  Students figured out quickly that the starting cup had to be higher than the ending cup so they could use gravity to help the water travel into the second cup.  We colored the water blue so we could see it easier.

We measured the amount of water in the cup before we poured it in (11 cm), then measured the amount of water in the ending cup.  Our groups ranged from 2cm to 9cm of water in the ending cup!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Get Ready for Groundhogs Day!


Groundhogs Day is always a fun one for kids.  They usually know a few things about it by the time they reach the intermediate grades, but it could be a great chance to do some STEM with shadows and a little research on groundhogs as an animal.

Groundhog Research Poster


Groundhog STEM Challenge with Shadows


These two packs are a great way to learn a little more about groundhogs and shadows!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Steven Kroll Picture Books STEM Challenges

My students love picture books!  Steven Kroll is an author who has some great ones!  We do these challenges throughout the school year with our kindergarten buddies!  We read aloud the book and then do the challenge!

These challenges are so much fun to complete and hang in the hallway!  They require very few supplies, just bulletin board paper and measuring tools!  Click here to grab the BUNDLE!  These challenges are also available for purchase individually in my TPT store!

These challenges are always so much fun!  Here are some of our Biggest Snowmen!

 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Balloons Over Broadway - Thanksgiving Floats STEM Challenge

We had a crazy two days before Thanksgiving Break!  The kids loved making Thanksgiving floats for this STEM Challenge!  We started by reading the picture book, Balloons Over Broadway, by Melissa Sweet.  This book talks about how those huge floats came to be used in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!


We also watched a few videos on-line so students could see the different floats!  Many of my students had never seen them before and they were so amazed!

Students then got assorted styles of balloons, plastic balloon sticks, and tape so they could work as a team to make their own floats!

Here are some of their ideas!
If you are interested in purchasing this fun STEM challenge, click here!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Making STEM Challenges More or Less Difficult

I often get asked how to make STEM challenges more or less challenging for students of different ages or abilities.  This is actually a pretty easy thing to do (meaning you can do it yourself without much trouble)!
1.Decrease or Increase the Supplies
       One of the easiest ways to make these challenges easier or harder, is to alter the amount of materials used.  Think about how much harder a challenge becomes with a limited amount of tape!  If students are struggling, increase supplies to make it a little easier for them.  You can make these decisions at the beginning or even during the challenge!
2.Add a Timer
       Challenges become a lot trickier if you have to get them done in a specific amount of time.  Most challenges take intermediate kids about 45 minutes.  What if you reduced that time?  If kids are struggling, you can give them more time!
3.Give them a Second Chance
       Sometimes students need a second chance at a challenge!  Give it a little time and then let them try out a challenge that they really struggled with a second time.  Most of the time they will do really well during their second chance!

Time to get engineering!
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