Once again, third grade continues to amaze everyone at the science fair with their level of participation and smart science brains! Check out the slideshow below of the fabulous projects! Congratulations to our winners: Nina Howard 1st place, Wyatt Hodge and Louie Barbieri 2nd place, Carter Abney 3rd place (tie), Diana DuBose 3rd place (tie).
Now that the students helped Samuel's family dig a well, and clean their water, they had to help Samuel build a pipeline to transport the water from the well to the pumpkin patch. The students had 4 straws, three clothespins and a 2x2 square of tinfoil. The pipeline had to be at least 30cm long and transport at least 30ml of water into a Dixie Cup. Getting the water into the pipeline proved to be the most difficult part. There were many redesigns! Students found that creating a funnel with the tinfoil to pour the water into so it could enter the pipeline was the most successful tactic.
Now that the students helped Samuel and his family dig the well, it was time to get water from the well. Unfortunately, the water wasn't very clean so the students were introduced to their next engineering task of helping Samuel create a water filter clean the water from the clay soil as best as possible. Utilizing the EDP, groups selected two materials (out of 5 options) they thought would filter the water the best. After each group tested their first filters the results of each group were analyzed and discussed. Then the groups determined how they would improve their water filter to produce better results.
For the next STEM challenge, 3rd grade students were transported back in time to 1893 where they were introduced to Samuel, a 12 year old boy, who settled out west with his family. Samuel and his family needed help getting large rocks out of the well they were trying to dig. The students had to go through the EDP to create a rock excavator that would lift the rocks 12 inches out of the bottom of the well. The more rocks they could remove at once the better!
To continue to build on their collaboration and communication skills, but also engage in the engineering and design process (EDP) the 3rd grade students had to work in small groups to design a slide, swing, or seesaw that was safe for a marble. With limited materials available the students really had to use creativity and critical thinking as they worked through the steps of the design process. Most groups required a few prototypes before they arrived at their end products.
The next STEM activity of the year required the 3rd grade students to work on their collaboration and communication skills. They also learned some building design basics such as the strength of triangles, and the post and lintel. The task was to work together effectively to build the tallest structure out of play-doh and toothpicks.
To kick the school year off, and to help the students get to know a little about me, the first challenge for 3rd grade was to help me solve my problem of always bending the pages in my books to mark my place when I read. It was a fun activity to introduce them to the idea of engineering as problem solving!