It was so exciting to have students in grades K-2 display individual projects at the science fair! Please be sure to check out the 2nd grade class projects in the slideshow on the home page of this blog!
To integrate some winter fun with the 2nd grade force and motion and measurement standards, the students designed and created snowball catapults. They were given 2 large and 8 small craft sticks, rubber bands, and a snowball (cotton ball). After creating a working catapult, the students improved their designs to try and get the catapults to launch the snowball as far as possible. They used inches or centimeters to measure the snowball's distance.
To get into the Thanksgiving holiday spirit, students were given 5 sheets of copy paper and 30 cm of tape to design and create a table that would hold a can of food. It took some trial and error, but many groups were able to hold not just one, but two cans of food with their tables! The students also integrated sequential writing by explaining what they did.
We incorporated literacy and STEM with the use of sets of Goldieblox. As the students read the story it directs them to put specific pieces together to engineer the parade float being described in the book. Students had to collaborate to build the float and then explore pushes and pulls in order to get the parade float to move.
To continue their study of matter, the second graders focused on wind (a gas) and how wind can be used to produce clean energy. They planned, designed, and created wind powered cars. When testing their cars they discovered the needed to make improvements several times in order to get their cars to move efficiently.
Second graders explored states of matter using bubbles during their STEM time for a couple of weeks. First they were presented with a variety of bubble wands. They had to predict if the bubble wands given to them would make large bubbles or a large number of bubbles. Then they went outside to test them and record their results.
In the next session, students planned and designed a bubble wand using pipe cleaners that would either create large bubbles or a large number of bubbles. When we went to test them they were amazed that they actually worked!
Students incorporated the engineering and design process to build and measure pencil towers. First they estimated how tall they thought it was and then they used a ruler to find the actual measurement of their towers. Next they worked to improve the heights of their towers and communicated their strategies with the other groups.