STEM Snack Party
Middle school students in Mr. McCurdy and Mrs. McCracken class as well as Mrs. William's class at School #5 particpated in a year end STEM event during their Occupational Therapy (OT) time. Many academic skills including fine motor, critical thinking, problem solving, and cooperative learning were incorporated in this hands on activity. At the Middle School, the students cut and organized a variety of fruits and vegetables to create their own version of caterpillars and butterflies after learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. The kindergartener's used their tripod grasps, bilateral coordination, and memory skills as they followed a sequence to make their caterpillars. They enjoyed a review of the 5 senses, they watched, listened, smelled and touched the popcorn to fill their popcorn bag butterflies which were sent home to be shared with their families. Many parents engaged in this activity alongside their children following their year end concert. Many families expressed, " This is great! I'm going to do this at home!"
The students, families and teachers all had fun and look forward to more STEM activities in the future of hands on learning!
Monday, June 10th School #3 hosted their first STEM-tastic Afternoon! From 12:30 until the end of the dall all grade levels K-5 participated in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) activities. The event kick-started with an assesmly with Dr. Mike Jabot from SUNY Fredonia leading into a grade level break focusing on different science topics.
- Kindergarten focused on weather and clouds. They created contrails, clouds made by airplanes.
- First grade engaged in a kinesthetic learning activity focusing on habitats and the importance of adapting to survive.
- Second grade explored states of matter and created oobleck, a matter that has both solid and liquid properties.
- Third grade participated in a water challenge focusing on water conservation.
- Fourth grade experimented with aerosols and learned how they affect our sky.
- Fifth grade focused on force and motion and built foam gliders changing the front end weight to determine travel and distance.
The best part of the event was the students pure excitement!
Many of them stating, "This is the best day ever!!"
Families & Habitats
First graders at School #3 have been learning about habitats and thought it would be a great idea to have their families come in and learn about them too! Some of the habitats they focused on are the arctic tundra, desert, tropical rainforest and the forest. Students and families were able to walk around and observe real forest animal bones, fur, and antlers. They also watched a short video on habitats and played an engaging game of bingo.
Dr. Mike Jabot from SUNY Fredonia made a special visit to School #3 to announce the upcoming STEM-tastic Day!! Students K-5 will be participating in STEM activities throughout the afternoon!
Kindergartens at School #3 were able to learn first hand the importance of animal adaptations and how they help them survive! Using Mystery Science the students explored different animal beaks, which beaks were able to pick up which food, and why that is important to where they live. After, students created bird feeders from recyclable paper rolls to take home over the weekend to become a "Bird Watcher" to see if they see any of the birds/beaks they just learned about!
Making Music Using Force & Motion!
Kindergarteners explored music through force and motion and made MARACAS!! Who doesn't love a dance party!!
"The gravity is pulling the rice down to the bottom of bottle" -Mario
"We are using our energy to shake the maracas" -Makailyn
Kindergarten students created paper airplanes, test flew them, and measured the distance. Afterwards the students predicted if the airplanes would fly further with added weight. The students worked in teams of two and added weights on different positions of the plane. What the test results proved was the best place to distribute weight is in the middle of the paper airplane. If you put the weight on the front it will cause the weight to pull it down.
100th Day of School!
Kindergarten at School #3 joined forces and had a math and STEM extravanganza celebrating the 100th day. Students participated in many engaging activities focused on the number 100!
Mrs. Damon's 5th grade class at School #5 also paricipated in the 100th day STEM challenges by bulding with 100 Legos!
Who doesn't love a great salad! At school #7, Mrs. Symans kindergarten class pulled out their green thumbs. The class started this exploration with a Tower Garden in November with green leafy plants such as kale, lettuce, rainbow chard, basil. They also tried tomato, eggplant, and cucumbers which were not successful, as the garden is inside. Mrs, Symans made the students aware of the difficulties growing in house but the students still wanted to experiment. Many of the students were excited to pick and start these plants from seeds and watch them grow and be able to taste fresh greens!
"It was so awesome to see these children who may have never grown anything get the chance to experience the whole process from seed to table" -Mrs. Symans
The class has now passed the Tower Garden to Mrs. Williams class to share such an exciting STEM opportunity!
Who doesn't love a roller coaster? At School #5, Mrs. Damon's 5th grade class is building one! The students were challenged to work as a team to build a roller coaster out of paper and tape! The goal was to be able to carry a marble throughout the course!
"The students get really excited about hands-on activities" -Mrs. Damon
Forces, Motion, Pushes, Pulls & Gravity!
At School #3, the Kindergateners in Miss. Kulig's class have been exploring force and motion! They learned that there are two kinds of force, push and pull and all motion is caused by a force. For their first exploration, they created a simple machine called an incline plane. They rolled a marble through paint using their incline plane to create beautiful art! They wondered how the marble moved since we did not push or pull it, and learned that gravity is an invisible force that pulls things down!
Next, they learned that strength and direction of force effects the motion. They used straws to blow (push) air on paint. They learned that the amount of force they used to push the air through the straw affected how the colors crossed in their art!
Forces, Motions, & Magnets!
Have you ever tried sliding on an icy surface, or running on the beach? It is much easier to slide on a slippery slope, this is because of friction. Friction is created when things are pulled past each other. At School #3, Mrs. Bozilerri's 3rd grade class explored the world of friction utilizing Mystery Science. For this investigation the students constructed ramps to test the different effects of friction on a smooth surface vs. a rough surface. The students wrapped objects in different material creating different surfaces and tested them on their ramps. The students then adjusted the ramp height to see if the slope would create a different outcome. The students all agreed the smoother material traveled a lot quicker!
"When I put the tape on, it went faster." -Johnessa
These 3rd graders also explored the surprising properties of magnets and experimented with an invisible force that acts at a distance. The students were able to investigate hands-on with different types of magnets and explain how they pull to different objects.
"When we put a magnet underneath a sheet of paper it moved things on top." -Jehovonny
"They can't get enough of magnets, that's all they want to talk about!" -Mrs. Bozilerri
Learning For All...Whatever It Takes!
Elementary teachers came out to kick-start STEM in the new year! Professional development is one of the most effective ways to support educators in learning new skills and concepts. Students are not the only ones learning, check out these teachers competively building and learning innovative ways to introduce the new science standards in their classrooms.
Great teachers help create great students!
Round 2: Teachers cannot get enough of STEM learning!
Teaching Science-Technology-Engineering & Math (STEM) is much more than the content of those individual areas. It is teaching students to think effectively on their own to solve real world problems so they can become our future educators, engineers, researchers and leaders. Teachers were introduced to Code.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science in the classroom. Teachers were challenged to take the role of the students, build a sound foundation, and have it withstand the force of a text book for ten seconds. They also participated in coding unplugged understanding the fundational skills needed to be successful software developer.
Dunkirk teachers take on any challenge and succeed!
Mayflower Boat Building Challenge
Kindergarteners at School #3 learned about the Mayflower and its voyage to America, they were amazed at how big the ship was and how many passengers were on board (102). They were challenged to work with a partner to plan, design and build a boat that can float and hold weight (pilgrims =pennies)! These engineers accepted the challenge, some boats were even able to hold well over 102 pennies! Way to go!
Kindergarteners at School #3 were challenged to design, plan & build a hideout for turkeys so they would not be eaten on Thanksgiving! With the help of the story, Run Turkey, Run! They had to trick the farmer into thinking the turkey escaped with a great hideout! Mr. Genovese was so kind to lend his hideout expertise and choose a winner!