Monday, October 28, 2019

STEM Week in the Cub Cadets

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This past week our class conducted a variety of STEM activities:
In an effort to boost students’ interest and raise awareness of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Massachusetts has declared a statewide STEM Week from October 21-25, 2019, and is asking educators at all grade levels to participate by planning lessons, events, and activities focused on science, technology, engineering, and math throughout the week. Students from pre-kindergarten through high school and postsecondary institutions will be encouraged to take part in hands-on learning that aligns topics across STEM subjects and connects to other curricula.

Exploring Gravity
We looked around our classroom for materials to use in an experiment.  A teacher held the object out and then we observed the speed it fell to the ground.  For example, the block fell quickly and made a loud sound, the feather took longer to fall to the ground.) We talked about why we think the objects fell differently. We notice the heavier the object was the quicker it fell like the block. The lighter objects like the feather and tissue took longer to fall to the ground.

Marble Mazes in the Sensory Table
-We constructed marble mazes in the sensory table this week.  They enjoyed watching the marbles on-ramps, marble wheels, and marble drops.  

Ramp Racing
-We talked about ramps in the whole group. We talked about how ramps are simple machines and they help us move objects from one place to another. We then made predictions which ramp would make the car go further. (long, medium, or short ramp) The children raced the cars down the ramps and we marked the spot where the cars stopped. We discovered the longer ramp made the car go the furthest distance and the short ramp made the car go the shortest distance. We then added cars and ramps to the block center.  We explored on our own how to build ramps and how to change the speed of the cars.  When the ramps were diagonal, the cars moved. When the ramps were flat, the cars did not move.

Building Towers
-We used shaving cream to build block towers.  We used shaving cream to help hold the blocks together.  We counted to see how many blocks we could build in our towers before they fell.  We recorded the colors we used on our papers too.

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Pumpkin Volcano
First, we cut a hole at the top of a pumpkin. Then we added the chemical baking soda inside.  We made predictions about what would happen if we added a new chemical like vinegar. A teacher poured in vinegar and we discussed what happened.  We learned that when some chemicals are mixed together it can cause a chemical reaction.

Class Pets
To conclude our week of science, we went to the science center on Friday to bring back gerbils to visit our classroom. We will be observing them over the next few weeks. Ask your child about them.

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