Archive for Uncategorized


After learning about aqueducts in their language arts class, the sixth graders worked collaboratively to build a model of an aqueduct.  The aqueduct needed to keep the water flowing and not have any leaks.  These two groups managed to accomplish the first part, and had only one small leak in their designs.



Problem Solving with Kindergarten

How do you keep a turkey safe during Thanksgiving?  Build him a rocket to shoot him away from the table.  The kindergarteners used straws and tape to build a rocket for a paper turkey in STEM lab this week.  They had lots of fun working together to figure out how to make this work.



Coding with Dash

The first and second graders have been learning about coding in STEM lab.  They have been practicing what they learned by using an app called Blockly.  This operates with the Wonder Workshop robot, Dash.  Today, the second grade coded Dash to run a relay race to the end of the room and back.

3D Pumpkins

The second grade class worked on making a 3D design with limited resources in STEM lab this week.  They were given a paper tube, a few strips of orange paper, green tissue paper, a half sheet of brown paper, and a glue stick.  The challenge directions required them to build a pumpkin that was 3D that used all of the materials given to them.  Here is what they came up with.


Hex Bug Courses

The 6th graders had some fun building courses for a Hex Bug to travel through.  They were given a limited supply of items, such as index cards, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, and cardboard tubes, that they were able to utilize for this challenge.  The courses were to be built so that the materials were not altered in any way that made them unusable for other projects.  Many students were very creative and built courses that traveled off the table.

Static Electric Ghosts

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade classes learned how to use science to move a tissue paper ghost.  After “charging” a balloon, they used it to make a tissue paper ghost stand and move on the table.  They also used the balloon to move an empty soda can across the room.


Following a Blueprint

The kindergarten and first grade classes learned that the plan an engineer uses when working through the design cycle is called a blueprint.  They made their own by gluing paper rectangles to a blue paper.  The rectangles represented the wooden blocks they would use to build a path for a Hex Bug to travel through.  They then built this path from their blueprint.  If the Hex Bug could not travel the entire course, we discussed why that might have happened.  The students decided that the “walls” weren’t strong enough and that the engineer would need to change the blueprint and try again.



Limited Resources

The 4th graders were challenged to build a structure at least 6 inches above the tabletop that could support the weight of a pumpkin. The students could  only straws, newspaper, and a few inches of tape.  After quickly using the tape provided, plans were redesigned.  Some figured out that crisscrossing the straws was support enough for the pumpkin and needed no tape.  Another student bundled the straws with a strip of newspaper and used a small piece of tape on the paper, keeping the straws intact.  This challenge really had the 4th graders practicing resilience and the design cycle as multiple attempts to complete it were used by all.


Ring of Pringles

The 4th graders worked this week to build a ring of out of the chips inside one can of Pringles.  They really practiced the engineering habit of mind, resilience, as their structures fell multiple times during the class period. They also drew on what they learned about cantilevers last week to help with the construction.

Tower Building in K and 1

The kindergarten and first grade worked on their first design challenge of the school year this week.  They spent the first 2 weeks of school practicing different building techniques and learning about what materials are good for different building tasks.  The challenge was, using cardboard, Legos, cups, and blocks, build the tallest tower you can.  They used the design cycle to come up with a plan to work off of first.  After, completing the tower, they redesigned to see if they could make it even taller.  So many Stemmy elements in one lesson!