First Grade Stem

First G rade STEM has been "gearing up" for the new year with their new "Gear Table"!

Using a VEX Robotics area for a home, the students installed axles and gears of all sizes and colors to make individual and super long "gear trains". The students learned how each gear turns its immediate neighbor in the opposite direction, how smaller gears move faster than their larger neighbors, and how to build simple and complex mechanisms such as clock movements.

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It was all about DESIGNING A ROCKET TO MARS this first Trimester!

From brainstorming the food necessary for the journey, then mocking the food up - to designing the rocket itself, then building a paper mock up and testing it in the STEM Lab, the First Graders have had a real BLAST!

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The First Graders are currently learning and creating in the world of  LIGHT and SOUND!

To study shadow, the students focused on human body gesture (happy, sad, glad, surprised, excited, etc), and performed these gestures in class. Then the students created gesture sculptures based on their gesture of choice in aluminum foil in the spirit of artist Alberto Giacometti. The results are simply breathtaking!

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The First Graders are donning their SUPER EARS to test how ear size and shape effect heard volume!
The exercise began with the students facing forward, while listening to my whispered voice. Next I asked them to place their open hands on sides of their heads, while a whispered the same phrase. Finally, they donned their SUPER EARS, and were amazed at the difference in the three conditions.
There was a bit of invention history to be learned as well, as the students learned that the very first hearing aids amounted to nothing more than simple horns (or SUPER EARS)!
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To see first hand how sound waves that travel through the air, are actually the result of vibrations moving molecules of air - the First Graders got a BANG out this next exercise!
First, cellophane was stretched over the rims of several clear glass bowls.
Second, a few grains of dry rice were place on each cellophane "drum".
Then finally, the students banged a metal pan with a metal spoon adjacent to each "drum", causing the rice grains to move on the "drum" head. The students saw first hand how their sound can actually move objects.

To turn this lesson on sound waves into a creative project, the students were asked to create a game board design that would be printed on the "drum" heard - resulting in probably the loudest game of rice shuffle board ever recorded!

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