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Category: STEM

Highland Drive Teachers Make Water Slides!

During our first staff meeting of the 2017-2018, Mrs. Wiesler and Miss Kolis took the other teachers through The Design Process as we worked together to solve a problem.  Teachers had to create a prototype of a waterslide that stood at least 10 inches tall, did not leak, and safely transported their rider (aka LEGO guy) to the bottom pool.  Check out these designs!

STEAM Station at the Jr. Olympics!

Because our Jr. Olympic day is under new leadership this year (Thanks Mr. Thacker), Mrs. Wiesler and I suggested that we have a “STEAM event” at the Jr. Olympics! After students were divided into 4 groups, each group was given a bag of materials and asked to build a launch pad or platform to hold up a “bottle rocket.”  Bags were filled with K’Nex, LEGOs, toothpicks and marshmallows, and popsicle sticks and masking tape.  The “bottle rocket” was a 2 liter bottle filled with one cup of vinegar.  The teams were tasked with building their platforms quickly as the only…

Makey Makeys!

This week, we introduced the second and third grade students to Makey Makeys!  Don’t know what a Makey Makey is?  Just check out these awesome photos of our students determining if items are “conductors” or “insulators.”  Spoiler: Did you know a human is a conductor?!?!

More New Friends!

We’ve added two more new friends to the Highland Drive STEAM Room this week, thanks to our PSO “Gifts and Goals” Committee! A tree frog and a fire-bellied toad now call the STEAM Room their home!  Their names are now OFFICIALLY “Frog and Toad.”  As we know, Frog and Toad are friends! Thanks to the district STEM Coach, Michelle Leizman, for helping us to set up the Wonder Bubbles and learn how to take care of our new friends!

Sink or Float Boats

Students in first grade had a chance to use the STEAM Room to complete an experiment called “Sink or Float Boats.” From Mrs. French- “To go along with our unit ‘How do things get built?’, we designed and built aluminum foil boats.  Then we predicted and experimented how many pennies our boats would hold before sinking.  One of the children had a phenomenal design that held almost 350 pennies before sinking!  We learned a lot, and many of the children were anxious to try this experiment at home.”

Spaghetti Tower Challenge

In the first week of April, students in second and third grades completed the Spaghetti Tower Challenge with the help of Mrs. Adams, Mr. Cervenka, and Mrs. Wiesler. Students worked in groups and were provided with a box of uncooked noodles, one large marshmallow, and a roll of masking tape.  The challenge was to build the tallest tower possible that could hold up the marshmallow. Students worked for approximately 20 minutes and then towers were measured.  The second grade winning team had a tower that was 21 inches tall!  We then talked about what worked and what didn’t work within…

A Visit from the Nature Center!

On March 13th, Ms. Kelly from the Brecksville Nature Center visited our STEAM Room to conduct the program “Form Fits Function!” for our students.  Students learned about the different types of bird beaks and the adaptations birds make to find food and eat.  From the photos below, you can see this was a huge hit!  Thanks to Ms. Kelly and the Brecksville Nature Center for the awesome program!

Dog Sled Prototypes

This week, we welcomed Mrs. Niedermeyer to the STEAM Room (aka makerspace) to complete a STEM project called “Design a Dogsled!”  After learning about dogsled races and getting to Facetime with a musher who races in the Iditarod, third grade students were introduced to the parts and main functions of a dogsled.  Students were then asked to plan, sketch, and then create a dogsled prototype. Many students chose to work in pairs or in groups, but some chose to work alone. HUGE thank you to Mrs. Niedermeyer for all of her planning on this project!

Bucket Tower Challenge!

In our second week back in the makerspace in 2017, second and third graders were engaged in different projects.  Typically we complete the same challenge or project on Thursday and Friday, but this week was a little different. Third graders competed in the Bucket Tower Challenge.  Students were asked to create a structure that could hold a hanging bucket with the most money inside.  Once students had created their structure using straws, tape, and paper cups, we tested the strength by adding quarters, nickels, and dimes to the “bucket.”  Three groups tied by holding up $12.80 (some could’ve held more…