Kindergarten: Pushes and Pulls—Students are discovering the world of forces. Using hands on activities students explore pushes, pulls, friction and gravity. Students use many different resources in class including ipad apps, Goldie Blox, wiffle balls, blocks, boxes and ramps as they study the forces around us. Ultimately students will be creating a structure to move rocks up a ramp.
Apps Used: Educreations to create projects, Stage to show off projects, Daisy the Dinosaur where students learn to write code, and Scratch Jr. to write code creating their own interactive stories
From PLTW: “Students investigate different pushes and pulls on the motion of an object and develop knowledge and skills related to forces of differing strengths and directions. Their explorations include pushes and pulls found in their everyday world such as pushing a friend on a swing or pulling a wagon. Students are challenged to refine a design and successfully solve a problem, and they reflect on the effect of modifying the strength or direction of a force.”
1st Grade: Observing the Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars—First graders are on a mission to discover all things Sun, Moon and Stars related. Making sun dials, tracking the moon and learning how and why we see stars are a few of the activities we’ll be working on. Using UV sensitive beads and flashlights, students will ultimately be designing a playground that protects from harmful UV rays during the afternoon hours.
Apps Used: Moon globe to examine the surface of the moon, SketchBook Express to create digital designs, Sky Map to study the stars, and Compass to learn direction
From PLTW: “After observing the sun, moon, and stars, students identify and describe patterns in their recorded data. Students build upon their knowledge of light to design, build, test, and reflect on a device designed to solve a problem related to the patterns of the sun. After evaluating their design, students share their findings and ideas for ways to improve the device based on the testing data.”
2nd Grade: Form and Function—Our friends Mylo, Suzi and Angelina have a problem they need solved and our 2nd graders are just the ones to do it. Students will be studying seed dispersal and pollination throughout this unit and ultimately creating a device to quickly plant a field with flowers. Most recently students studied Biomimicry as we examined how nature inspires engineering.
From PLTW: “Students research the variety of ways animals disperse seeds and pollinate plants. Students expand their understanding of properties of matter as they consider the form and function involved in seed dispersal and pollination. Students gain understanding of form and function and how each concept informs design. The design problem requires students to apply their knowledge and skills to design, build, and test a device that mimics one of the ways animals either disperse seeds or pollinate plants. Students reflect on the efficiency of their designs and how they were informed by nature.”
3rd Grade: Forces and Interactions—3rd graders are taking a look at simple machines like levers, inclined planes, pulleys, wheels and axles, magnets, wedges, and screws. We’ll be examining how force and energy can be transferred making work easier. The students culminating project will be to create a model device that has the capability of rescuing a stranded tiger.
Apps used: Physics Lite to examine simple machines, 123D Design to build models in 3D, Popplet to share presentations, and Aero! To learn about flight
From PLTW: Students explore simple machines such as wheel and axles, levers, the inclined plane, and more as they investigate the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Additionally, students explore magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other through a hands-on project. Finally, students apply their knowledge of mechanisms and magnetic interactions as part of a solution to a design problem.
4th Grade: Energy Conversion—Students will be jumping into the world of energy conversion. Students studied different forms of energy conversion and will be making generators as well as a model showing human chemical energy converting to mechanical energy.
Apps Used: Autodesk Inventor to build, Ubersense for slow motion playback, and Physics Lite to learn basic Physics
From PLTW: As students learn about forms of energy, they identify the conversion of energy between forms and the energy transfer required to move energy from place to place. Students identify and explain how energy can be converted to meet a human need or want. After exploring energy conversion and transfer, students apply scientific ideas about the conversion of energy to solve a simple design problem. The problem requires students to design a system that is able to store energy and then convert the energy to a usable form as it is released.
5th Grade: Robotics and Automation
Students are currently working towards their robot being autonomous. Students will learn about programming through ipad apps and laptop software. Their culminating task is to program and control their robot to move Hazardous Materials through a student created maze within an allotted time.
Apps Used: Robots to learn about current robotic trends, Autodesk Inventor to build their robot, Modkit for Vex to program
From PLTW: “Students expand their understanding of robotics as they explore mechanical design and computer programming. The focus for this module centers on developing skills needed to build and program autonomous robots. Students develop programming skills in a variety of platforms, including tablet applications and browser-based programming environments. Finally, students apply the robotic knowledge and skills they have developed to build and program an autonomous robot to solve a real-world design problem.”