Today the class became forensic scientists. Someone has stolen Red Riding Hood’s basket, and it’s up to the 5th grade STEM scholars to find out who. Using methods such as analyzing DNA, fingerprints, shoeprints, hand writing, and chromatography to get to the bottom of this case. For example, the detectives had to compare a note that was found at the scene, presumably written by the thief. With 4 different samples of handwriting, the detectives compared the writng to the note that was found. Bringing them one step closer to uncovering the mystery. The detectives took turns rotating stations, filling out a packet detailing thier findings in this investigation. Clue by clue, the culprit of this crime became apparent.
To learn aboout the Carbon cycle, the 5th graders used beads. They had to fill up a string they carried around with them, with beads. After being sent to a station, they had to roll a dice to go to another station. Each student acted as a carbon atom. The beads corresponded with whatever environment the carbon atom went to for that roll. The beads were
The point of this activity was to see the journey of a carbon atom in the carbon cycle. Some atoms would move around from station to station with every roll. While others, would get trapped in one place. This exemplified how some carbon atoms, now our stuck within our atmosphere. The following gallery shows the 5th graders and the activity.
This week, the 5th graders again had to build their own parachute. But this time, with a catch, the 5th graders had a budget. Last time, the students could use as much material as they pleased. But this time, they had to stay in their budget, giving them less materials. Additionally, they would have to protect an egg for their parachute to be considered successful. Each student had the same budget, the same amount of time to construct their parachute, and the same dropoff point(2.5 meters). So with the rules set in place, the students set off to build. Below are images of todays class.
This weeek, the 5th grade STEM scholars went on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industy. With so much to explore and learn, it was a very enjoyable experience for the whole class. First, the students went to an exhibit called “Extreme Ice”. The exhibit was all about global warming, and how some photographers have actually been documenting glaciers all over the world for several years. These glaciers have been receeding and melting over the years. But thanks to these pictures, we can see physical proof of global warming. Also, the exhibit contained a wall of authentic glacial ice. The students were able to put their hands on that wall, getting to feel ice that came from hundreds of miles away. Afterwards, the students went to the Brick by Brick exhibit. Brick by Brick is an exhibit based entirely around legos and engineering. In the exhibit structures like, The Golden Gate Bridge and The Colosseum are completely reconstructed with legos. These models are not easy to construct by any means. For instance, The Golden Gate Bridge model is over 60 feet long. These models are carefully crafed pieces of engineering. With no details being overlooked. They are truly remarkable and interesting to observe. Below is a slideshow with images of the 5th graders fun day at MSI.
Today, the 5th graders learned the physics of how a parachute works. Such as, how the effects of air resisitance and gravity make a parachute expand. When the parachute expands, it slows down the person using the parachute. Thus keeping them safe. With this in mind, today the students had to design their own parachutes. With materials like grocery bags, coffee filters and aluminum foil sheets. Regardless of what they built the parachute out of, they all had the same goal, getting the parachute to successfully land in the target provided to them and to have the slowest descent possible. With an hour of design time, these 5th grade students had to become engineers. Above, are images of the students, their trials and their design.
The 5th graders have been learning all about the metric system. Today, they put that to use in the Metric Olympics. Such as in one of the olympic games, the “Paper Plate Discus Throw”. Students began by standing at the start line. Then throwing the plate, and estimating the distance the plate traveled (in cm). After recording their estimations, students used meter sticks along with the markers placed along the floor to determine the actual distance. Below are more pictures of these games, like the “Cotton Ball Shot Put” and the “Paper Straw Javelin”.
Escape rooms are exactly what the name implies. They are rooms people are trapped in, and they must solve puzzles to eventually escape. Those puzzles can vary from cracking codes, or looking for certain clues. Today, the 5th graders had to work together through a virtual escape room. The 6 different groups had to work on tasks such as, deciphering secret messages and solving jigsaw puzzles. The whole point of this activity was to get the classmates to work as a team. To be successful in science, students must be able to work together, and what better way to build a team than with a game?
It is that sad time of the year again where we wish we had 20 sessions instead of 17. The STEM school year is at its end and we have enjoyed every part of it. Our projects were successful in launching their projectiles. I believe the fifth graders had fun and their parents enjoyed seeing them at work. The highest average of the day for the distance of our projectiles was around 252 cm. We have had an educational year and I am glad to have been the intern for the 5th grade class.
EggBert has returned and is now better than ever. He now wants to complete his goal of having a successful bungee jump but he needs the fifth graders to keep him alive. The fifth graders are learning about elasticity and a little about gravity. They are testing the number of rubber bands’ influence on how low the egg can drop without breaking. Lets wish Eggbert a terrific jump and hope that he survives.
Throughout the last two sessions the fifth grade class has been working on an educational website and answering questions from different worksheets while they did the activities. With this knowledge gained they can use it to help them with their end of the year project. This work is challenging and time consuming but the fifth graders managed to get through it.