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.
When ice melts it goes back to its original state of water. The question is, how does this new melted ice affect the amount of water that was present, and does it matter where it melts? The fifth graders were given two tubs of water and rocks. In the first tub they had to put the block of ice in the water, whereas in the second tub they had to put the block of ice on the rocks. The water respresnted the sea and the rocks represented the land. Which tub of water will have a higher level afterwards? Fifth grade found out that because the ice is already in the water it does not influence the amount of water already there.
Today, the fifth grade class learned a little bit about the Arctic and Antarctica. The fifth grade class had the job of finding out what items went into which category between the Arctic and Antarctica. Through this exercise they learned more about the different climates and different species that fit into these two places.
Today was the first day back for the interns but today is a whole new beginning for these 5th graders. They seemed excited, ready to learn, and prepared to have a good day. They were given the task of making a tall tower out of newspaper that could withstand Mrs. Casey’s blow of air from an arms length away. The 5th graders were very excited to build their tall towers, but they were a little disappointed when the wind knocked them down. I guess we can say that the 5th graders had a good first day.