I had the opportunity to give two different presentation at the Virginia Children’s Engineering Conference. I was lucky enough to team with three other fabulous individuals, Alisa Downey, Julie Mulvaney, and Meg Swecker. You can check out our presentations below.
After discussing and analyzing the story, and comparing and contrasting it to the real Three Little Pigs story, students spent the next week delving into the world of engineers, architects, construction workers, realtors, consumers, and presenters. Each group of students planned, drew blueprint, tested and revised a house for the Fourth Little Pig. Each house was created to withstand gusts of wind from The Big Bad Wolf. They even completed a purchase order and shopped on a budget for the materials to use to construct their house. They also used the app Pic Collage to create a real estate listing to market their house to potential pig buyers.
To see their pic collages and read more about the project, please visit Mrs. Downey’s blog post about it! You can find it here.
Students at Clearbrook in Mrs. Schlosser’s class participated in a STEM project to learn more about the Regions of Virginia. Students were divided into groups and given boxes and various art supplies (paper, Q-tips, playdough, puff balls, yard, beads, and a few other supplies). Using the materials they had and research materials (textbooks and various websites), their task was to create a Mystery box full of clues about the region of Virginia their group was assigned.
They needed to have at least 14 clues, including clues about products, industries, land forms, water features, animals, renewable and non-renewable resources. At least four of the items had to be 3-dimensional, and one clue could be a written word.
At the very end, students created a QR code to place on their box with the answer to the “Mystery Region.” Other students can now use the clues in the box to guess what region the box represents, and then check their answer by scanning the QR code. They also wrote each day in their journals to describe what they had learned during their work that day.
Not only did students learn about the Regions of Virginia with this project, they used the 21st Century Skills of Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Problem Solving.
I can’t take credit for writing this activity. It was written by a group of us during a STEM committee meeting. Here are the handouts if you want a look!
Students in Mrs. Sharp’s 5th Grade class created creatures using their geometry skills to populate “The Geo-zoo.” Mrs. Sharp had done the activity years before using paper and shapes, but wanted to engage her students by using the iPads. We quickly were able to transfer the activity to a digital one.
Thanks to the iPad apps Geoboard, Pic Collage, and Dropbox, students were able to complete a project based activity (that normally was done as a homework project) within one class period. By the end of class time, Mrs. Sharp had a great understanding of her students’ strengths with Math SOL 5.13 (The student, using plane figures (square, rectangle, triangle, parallelogram, rhombus, and trapezoid), will develop definitions of these plane figures; and investigate and describe the results of combining and subdividing plane figures.)
Check out the process below:
The best part was that the students were completely engaged and absolutely loved their creations! Many even posted them on their blogs :