The first few weeks the students spent completing some activities that required them to concentrate on using the 4Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. Then they also worked on understanding how to create videos using stop motion animation and learned coding basics with Ozobots.
The fifth graders are beginning their unit on electricity. To introduce circuits in an engaging way, the students first had to create a circuit, and then they were given play dough to make a sculpture that incorporated the light from the circuit. There was a lot of great creativity!
Fifth grade students practiced refining their Sphero driving schools, and learning how to program the Sphero to drive using block coding. As the Sphero went to each cell organelle the students either had to verbally tell the function of the organelle or they programed the Sphero to speak the function.
Over the past few weeks the 5th graders have been learning about cells. They started by viewing plant and animal cells under microscopes. Then they drew a model of either a plant or an animal cell on shrinky dink paper, which I turned into key chains for the students.
While the field of science fair entrants was small this year in 5th grade, the competition was tough. Great job to all who participated and congratulations to Akshita Parasuram 1st place, Joey Ward and Jaden Campbell 2nd place, Ananya Vaid 3rd place.
In order to integrate technology into classifying animals, and make a connection to the DEA helicopter presentation the students explored infrared images of animals. They used images of infrared animals and classified them and explained how they classified them. Many students classified the animals based on type of animal and some classified based on temperature. Next the students were asked to use the images to classify the animals as warm blooded or cold blooded. Through this classification, the students were able to discover that infrared images can give "false" information. For example, a picture of a lizard that was under a heat lamp would show a warmer temperature on the infrared image making it appear to be warm blooded to the students. They had a great conversation about when it is appropriate to use certain technological tools. And that just because you have a tool, it doesn't mean that it is necessary to use it.
As the students wrapped up their learning of constructive and destructive forces in their classrooms, they applied that knowledge to create stop motion videos in STEM. It was a great way to for them to communicate their learning through the use of technology. Students used Play- Doh, Legos, or whiteboards to create their videos.
In the classroom the 5th grade students study constructive and destructive forces, which includes earthquakes. To complement their study in STEM, using the EDP the students were given limited materials with which they had to construct a house. Then they tested strength of the house at various levels of intensity, recording their observations each time.
The next challenge the students faced required them to use the engineering and design process (EDP) to build a boat out of tin foil, straws, and tape that would hold Wonder Woman and the rest of the members of the Justice League (marbles) after rescuing them from the middle of the ocean. They loved this activity!
To tap back into the students' creativity and critical thinking skills, the 5th grade's first STEM challenge of the year required them to make the longest paper chain using just two pieces of paper and some tape. The winning chain was made out of long skinny chains.