Reflection is one of the Engineering Habits of Mind our students practice.  To end the school year, each class spent some time reviewing what they worked on in STEM lab and other “STEMMY” activities from other classes they participated in throughout the year.  Grades 6, 7, and 8 collaborated to create a top 5 list.  Kindergarten through grade 5 made a flower.  Each petal was something specific to reflect on such as their favorite STEM lab activity or the most challenging thing they worked on in STEM lab.  Based on the student responses, this year was a success!

Favorite Projects

Grade 8- Harvest Cart            

This was the 8th grade’s solution to food insecurity.  They created an app that will allow people who live in food desserts to order healthy foods that would then be delivered.  This project was presented in Columbus at the Battelle STEM showcase.

Grade 7- Medieval Project/Can Races Using Static Electricity

The seventh graders really debated which projects they enjoyed most.  The top votes were received by the Medieval Siege Towers and Battering rams and racing cans with the static electricity from a balloon.  Their “Top Five List” rounds out with #3 standing on paper cups, #4 building a candy cane grabber, and #5 building a straw tower.

Grade 6- Foley Sound

The six graders greatly debated the order of numbers 2-5 of their “Top Five” STEM project list.  Number 1 was very clear, the Foley Sound project.  After reading a radio play in ELA class, the students came to STEM lab and added sound effects to a short script they found.  The sounds needed to be made with object and not just their voices.  Each group recorded the play with the added sound.

Grade 5- Making Paper Planes

The students were asked to build a paper airplane that was no longer than 20cm and flew the greatest distance using only a single sheet of paper.  Many types of paper were provided to test their designs.  This project was references ad the favorite STEM lab project, the best thing they learned this year, and what they will remember most.

Grade 4- Dash the Robot

The biggest surprises for grade 4 this year were learning that you could use Dash to participate in a design challenge, coming back to school and finding the NEW Makerspace, and learning about food insecurity.


Grade 3- Flag Pole

The hardest thing for third grade to learn this year was how to make a working flag pole.  The flag pole was to be at least 20 cm tall and could only be constructed from newspaper, tape, and string.


Grade 2- Dash, 3D Pumpkins, and Collaboration

Many of the second graders wrote that their favorite STEM project was either working with Dash, making a 3D pumpkin, or building a dog sled.  Most also said that the best thing the learned this year was how to collaborate.

Grade 1- Bubbles/”Never give up!”

The best thing the first graders learned this year was about bubbles.  They were studying mixtures and solutions in science.  In STEM lab we created various bubble solutions made from water and dish soap.  The members of each team also used materials in the Makerspace to make a bubble wand to test the solutions.  Their best advice for new students is to never give up!


Kindergarten- Mummies and Castle

Kindergarten really enjoyed working on the mummy project in October.  Using only newspaper, tape, and toilet paper, the students were to work collaboratively to build the tallest mummy.  They also really liked building their castle.  From this were learned the value of resilience, another engineering habit of mind.  When I tried to move it to the MPR, it fell apart.  The students quickly thought of ways to improve the design it the opportunity to rebuild it ever presented itself.


Straw Towers

The seventh and eighth graders were divided into groups to see which group could construct the tallest tower using only 50 straws and 3 feet of tape.  The tallest tower was over 6 feet tall!


Memorial Day Flag Poles

The third graders spent a STEM lab last week planning to build a flag pole.  Their flag pole was to be built using only newspaper, string, tape, and scissors.  It should be able to fly a 4″ x 6″ flag at both full and half mast.  The flag would need to be raised a lowered to meet this goal.  It was also to be able to remain free standing in the wind.  We tested this by using a fan.  The students soon realized their original plans needed to be revised as they constructed them this week.  Many changed their designs to include a base for their flag pole.  All our flag poles passed the wind test, but some groups were unsuccessful with raising and lowering their flags.



The first graders recently learned about solutions and mixtures in Science.  So, in STEM lab we made bubble solution.  The students created 2 different bubble solutions using dish soap and water.  They also used various materials from the Makerspace to build their own bubble wands.



Kindergarten has spent the last several STEM Labs building a castle out of 3D shapes.  They used items from their homes that were shaped like rectangular prisms, cones, spheres, and cylinders to build it.  They are now decorating the castle by gluing grey “bricks” to represent a chosen pattern.  They showed great teamwork and cooperation as they worked to complete this task.

Pop Can Races

The seventh and eighth graders spent some time in STEM lab trying to use static electricity to race an aluminum can 10 feet.  In order to create the charge the students rubbed a balloon in their hair.  The winning can took seven seconds to make it this distance!



Basket Building

First Grade

The first graders read a short story about how Bobby Bunny had lost his Easter basket.  We then discussed what the students would do to solve the problem of delivering eggs without it.  They concluded, since they were in STEM lab, they could help him by building a new basket.  They were then given one sheet of paper and some tape with which to build it.  The groups worked cooperatively within the 20 minute time frame they were given to complete the task.  All the baskets were tested along the way and redesigned to fix any problems, like eggs sticking to the tape, before the time was up.  At the end of the class period the students presented their completed baskets to the class.   They also explained some of the problems they encountered while building the basket and how they solved it.


Small Baskets

Grades 6, 7, and 8 were challenged with engineering the smallest basket possible that held the most eggs.  After puzzling how a small basket could hold a lot of eggs, each class discussed how this was to be measured so that we could fairly decide who had completed the task best.  Each class decided that we would determine the volume of each basket so that they could be compared equally.

Towers on a Budget

After learning about money in math class, the second graders used this skill in STEM lab to purchase the materials they would need to complete their design challenge.  The groups were given a $10 budget with which they could buy certain items from the Makerspace.  The challenge was to build a tower at least 20 cm tall and had 4 legs.  The towers were also to support a cup on containing 20 pennies.


Pretzels in Grade 3

The third graders have been studying economics in their Social Studies classes by working together to establish a small business.  Some of the groups were assigned to participate in a pretzel business.  So, we thought it would be fun to actually make the pretzels as well as practice reading fractions and some measurement skills in STEM lab.

1. Mix together the following:
1 package of dry yeast
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 Tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
2. Then add 4 cups of flour, mix well
3 Now knead the mixture for 5 minutes
(you may want to flour your hands)
4. Cut into 16 pieces and shape.
5. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet.
6. Mix 1 egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon of water
7. Brush on pretzels and sprinkle with salt.
8. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.


  • Large Salted Soft Pretzel - Free Clip Art