First Grade Force and Motion in the Makerspace

Students in first grade at both Glenvar and Oak Grove used the Makerspace to build hands-on knowledge of force and motion.  They rotated through six centers to investigate and understand Science SOL 1.2:  The student will investigate and understand that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion. Key concepts include a) objects may have straight, circular, and back-and-forth motions; b) objects may vibrate and produce sound; and c) pushes or pulls can change the movement of an object that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion.

Maker Center Planning Sheet and Student Reflection

Center 1: Spinning Tops — Circular motion and elapsed time

Prompt: Make a spinning top.  How long does it spin?

Center 2: Air Tube

Make something that will fly.

Center 3: Zipline – pushes and pulls/ straight and circular motion

Design a car that can carry a toy dragon across the room on a zipline.  Explore ways to make the car move smoother and faster.

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Center 4: Musical Instrument – Vibration

Create a musical instrument with rubber bands.  Find ways to include higher and lower pitched notes on your instrument.

Center 5:  Racetracks

Build a racetrack.  Experiment with different types of cars, marbles, and balls.  Which ones go faster?  Slower?  Why?

Center 6: Robots On the Move

Make Dash the Robot Move!

 Cross Posted at the Learning Collaboratory.

Makerspace Prompt Cards

I’ve been using prompt cards in my Makerspace for a bit now.  I find that they help students, but they also help the teachers who bring the students into the Makerspace too.  Even though teachers at my schools have been trained on how to use the equipment, they often need reminders…and it helps them feel like they have a way to answer student questions.

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I prefer using them in Acrylic Sign Holders like these, but they are expensive.  If you trim cards down a bit, they will work in the plastic 8×10 picture frames you can buy for pretty cheap.  They don’t hold up as well, but if you are on a budget, they will work. Another option is to run the cards on tagboard and use sheet protectors.

This packet contains resources to create Makerspace Centers with the following materials:

  • LEDs and Coin Cell Batteries
  • Cubelets
  • Hot Wheel Tracks
  • Little Bits
  • Makey Makey
  • Spheros
  • Dollar Store Fans
  • Squishy Circiuts
  • old toys

Each center contains pictures, simple directions, and QR codes to scan for more info.  You get them on Teachers Pay Teachers here.

Makerspace prompt cards

 

 

 

Mouse Traps with 3rd Graders

Mrs. Weikle’s class, with the help of Mr. Clark, visited the Makerspace for a STEM activity. They created Mouse Traps that contained at least one simple machine and one 3D shapes. Then they used Pic Collage to display their creations. Take look below!

Take a look at a few of their traps in action!

 Cross posted at Oak Grove Digital Archive.

Making Makerspaces Matter at VCEC15

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Here’s our Special Education Makerspace Presentation for Virginia Children’s Engineering Conference 2015:

Download the Handouts here:
Presentation
STEM vs. Maker
Our Inventory List
Prompt Cards Used in Session

Cross posted at STEMCrazyTeachers.com with more info.

The Art of Tinkering

I’ve spent Winter Break devouring the book, The Art of Tinkering.  It was created by Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  The book description is this:

The Art of Tinkering is a celebration of a whole new way to learn by thinking with your hands, working with readily available materials, getting your hands dirty, and, yes, sometimes failing and bouncing back from getting stuck. The Art of Tinkering offers a fascinating portrait of today’s maker scene, as well as beginner activities for you to try on your own. Make circuits out of playdough, film a time-lapse movie, fuse plastics into beautiful fabric, and much, much more.

Even the book itself can be hacked!

I can’t wait to incorporate some of these activities into our Makerspace programs.  If you are interesting in the Making/Tinkering movement, check it out!

Spheros

The Oak Grove faculty was introduced to the school’s Makerspace at the faculty meeting last week. The project is still in the setup and learning phase, especially with the large influx of materials coming in. Part of my role in the project is to learn to use the new equipment and to explore uses for it that align with curriculum and STEM principles. The first piece of equipment that I’d like to introduce is our set of 5 Spheros. These are robotic balls that can be controlled and programed with iPad apps. They are great for real-life application of math skills, especially problem solving. One app, Drive N’ Draw, is a very simple app that can be used by younger students (even K and 1) with ease. Another app, Macrolab, allows older students to write simple programs that make the balls move in different directions, at different speeds, and with different colors. Changing speeds and colors requires division and percentages, and creating shapes allows students to practice lines and angles and other geometric principles. There’s a lot of math involved, and is appropriate for 4th and 5th graders. You can learn more here: http://www.gosphero.com/education/ 

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