This week in STEM, the 2/3 class started investigating “how things work”. We brainstormed a list of machines that they use in their everyday life, and then they used their imagination (or prior knowledge) to draw what they might look like inside. In groups, they tried to explain how they thought the machine worked- some ideas included gears, wires, electricity, buttons, and snaps. Each group then recieved a machine (such as an alarm clock, a computer, mouse, a keyboard). They followed the same steps as they imagined how that machine worked (how did it take in electricity, what parts are inside, and what happened to allow it to accomplish a task).
Next week, they will be taking apart those machines to check their hypotheses to see what actually is inside of the machines and how they work!
This entry event allows students to think more deeply about technology and machines in their lives- instead of just using an object, they are starting to investigate what is actually happening, and what parts are involved, in order for that machine to complete a task. The activity connects to their Global Studies investigation into inventions, and how they changed over time. This quarter, the Global Studies and STEM projects are interconnected, as their project in STEM will be focusing on engineering and circuitry with the driving question:
How can we, as engineers, design a working circuit for a piece of art?
Throughout the project, the 2/3s will learn and practice the steps of the engineering design process as they build, take apart, and learn about circuits and how things work. At the end, they will build a working circuit for a piece of art that they also will be working on in Global Studies, to show how inventions change over time. The 2/3s will also learn about how the engineering design process factors in to the process of inventing something new, and learn about some famous inventors. We’re excited to kick off this joing Global Studies, art, and STEM project!