Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wind Turbines

Georgia Mountain is in the process of putting up 4 wind turbines. The 3rd and 4th graders are studying the power of wind and how it transforms into other types of energy. We are planning on visiting this site in the Spring when construction is finished and the have been generating electrical energy for many months.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

3rd Graders Begin Engineering Unit

Engineering Is Elementary is a program from the Boston Science Museum

The 3rd Grade Students in Georgia are beginning a unit called "Catching The Wind".  The 4th Grade Students in Georgia are just finishing a unit called "An Alarming Idea".  Both units share the following project goals and essential understandings.

Project Goals and Essential Understandings

Goal 1. Increase children's technological literacy
At the elementary school level, we define technological literacy as acquiring essential understandings and skills that include:
Knowledge (Know about):
    • What engineering and technology are and what engineers do
    • Various fields of engineering
    • "[After using EiE,] my kids are speaking more. Some of my shyest students are volunteering to be project managers."
      -pilot teacher, Workshop participant
    • Nearly everything in the human world has been touched by engineering
    • Engineering problems have multiple solutions
    • How society influences and is influenced by engineering
    • How technology affects the world (both positively and negatively)
    • Engineers are from all races, ethnicities, and genders
Skills/Experience (Be able to do):
    • Apply the engineering design process
    • Apply science and math in engineering
    • Employ creativity and careful thinking to solve problems
    • Envision one's own abilities as an engineer
    • Troubleshoot and learn from failure
    • Understand the central role of materials and their properties in engineering solutions

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stem Updates

Magnificent Properties of Magnets
The ability to push or pull something without touching can seem like something magical, but it's really just science.  The 4th grade students have been going through the scientific inquiry cycle and discovering the properties and strength of magnets.  On Friday we tested the strength of magnets using tables to collect our data.  Through this process the students answered the question, "Do MORE magnets create a GREATER attraction?"  They used a fair test to collect their data.  Next week we will be writing conclusions making claims that are supported by their evidence.  They were questioning, discussing, problem solving laughing and being creative.  My goal was for each student to have many "aha" moments that inspire their curiosity for a lifetime.