Thursday, November 15, 2018

STEAM Shop 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

Part of my job this year is to run the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics) Shop at an elementary school on Mondays and Tuesdays. During September and October, I worked with 1st and 2nd graders. See THIS post for those activities. I am working with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders during November and December. My students come to my room in groups of 8 to 16 throughout the day. The stations are based on the TEKS - Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which outline what students are to learn in each grade.
3rd Graders begin in the sink/float or landforms station.
4th Graders begin in the simple machines station.
5th Graders begin in the Mix It Up/Filtering station.

After completing their primary station, students use question cards to discuss with their classmates: ways to improve design, frustrations, discoveries, how it applies to the real world, etc.

If they have any extra time beyond their primary station, students are encouraged to visit and work on the other stations in the room. Click on bold words for resource links.

Solid/Liquid/Gas Sort, Create a Food Web
Using Snap Circuits to experiment with the flow of energy to create light, sound, movement.
Sealing the canister before trying to make the ping pong ball and the ball bearing trade places in the density experiment.
Using picture cards and a dry erase marker on a shower curtain to show energy flow through a food web.

Simple Machines - Escaped Zoo Animals,
Students used the supplies to help the zoo animals return to the zoo. Pictured are: wheel and axle going up an inclined plane, pulley, slingshot lever (rubber band and plastic spoon), and multiple inclined planes.
Create and identify landforms

Working with a partner, students created landforms for their partner to identify. We used laminated blue paper for water.

Mix it up - solutions & mixtures, filtering
Testing substances at the Mix It Up station.

Mayflower Challenge - design a sailboat, consider buoyancy
with added cargo, test for sink/float and speed.
Mayflower Challenge resources HERE and HERE.
Creating boats.
Testing boat on the "ocean".
The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders seem to enjoy their exploration time in the STEAM Shop. So far, we have only had one catastrophe - someone accidentally stepped on our ocean and knocked the container over. It is amazing how quickly 2.5 gallons of water can spread across the carpet.

I will have the 1st and 2nd graders again in January. I guess I better start working on their next set of activities.  What STEAM activities would you recommend for a 40 minute class period? I only see the students once per semester. I can't have any on-going activities that require more than one class period. I don't have a budget, my supplies are things I can gather or get donated to my room.

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