Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, STEM Challenges - Making a Temporary Shelter for Brian

We made temporary shelters for the main character, Brian, while we were reading the book, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen.  We took a quick walk outside to collect materials and then got started on this challenge!

Students got to use all of their found materials, as well as straws or yarn, and tape and scissors.  We anchored the shelters on a 9 x 12 sheet of cardboard.

Here are some of our shelters!



Students had about 45 minutes to construct the actual shelter.  We used about 15 minutes to find the materials from outside our school.  Students could also bring in materials from home!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Learning about Landfills and Creating Models

As we continue to study the 10 different energy sources, we have moved on to Biomass.  As we learned about biomass, we also talked about landfills.  Students were totally fascinated with the process that is used to build a landfill.  We made our own landfill posters showing the different layers, then we made landfill models.

The models required a plastic container with a lid and the supplies for the insides.  While they look complicated, they are not very expensive to make!

I have a great pack of Energy Source Science Labs and this lab is included with directions, lab sheets, and where to find the materials.  Click here for the link to buy this lab pack!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Researching and Writing about Insects

We have been working on researching all year!  Each student got an insect and then had to take notes as they did their research.  Once their notes were complete, they moved on to writing information about their insect.  Students also colored and created a background and a clay model of their insect.  They look so eye-catching and colorful!

We used Crayola Model Magic for the clay models.  This clay is very easy to use and color. 

You can do this same idea with a lot of different informational topics!

Click here to purchase this pack on TPT!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mining Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are studying about the different energy sources in science.  While we were learning about coal, we decided to try our hands at mining!  The soft cookies represent the surface mining and the hard cookies represent the underground mining.  Students just need one of each type of cookie and a toothpick.

Students quickly realized that mining is tougher than it looks!  It was really hard to get whole chips out of that hard cookie.

Click here to grab the cookie mining lab for just $1.25!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Boston Tea Party Labs

We are working on the Revolutionary War in Social Studies and the kids had a blast working on these science labs!

Kids can test 2 different questions with these labs.  They only need tea bags, cups, salt, and water!

Grab your FREE labs here!

We then moved on to the STEM Challenge for the Boston Tea Party.  With very limited supplies, kids had to make a crate to hold a tea bag that will stay dry for the longest period of time. 


Click here to purchase the Boston Tea Party STEM pack on TPT!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Building a Pipeline - Energy Sources

We are currently studying the 10 energy sources in class.  As we were discussing natural gas and petroleum, students built pipelines.  It was much tougher than we thought it would be, but many of them ended up being successful!

You will need (per group):

- aluminum foil - (4 foot section works well)
- 3 styrofoam cups (we used the larger size)
- 15 straws (we got bendy ones)
- roll of masking tape
- handful of craft sticks
- cup of blue water
- napkins or paper towels (for clean up)

We talked and shared some ideas as we worked.  Students figured out quickly that the starting cup had to be higher than the ending cup so they could use gravity to help the water travel into the second cup.  We colored the water blue so we could see it easier.

We measured the amount of water in the cup before we poured it in (11 cm), then measured the amount of water in the ending cup.  Our groups ranged from 2cm to 9cm of water in the ending cup!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Get Ready for Groundhogs Day!

Groundhogs Day is always a fun one for kids.  They usually know a few things about it by the time they reach the intermediate grades, but it could be a great chance to do some STEM with shadows and a little research on groundhogs as an animal.

Groundhog Research Poster

Groundhog STEM Challenge with Shadows

These two packs are a great way to learn a little more about groundhogs and shadows!
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