STEM Featured School

Peacock Middle School, Itasca

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STEM at our Featured School, Peacock Middle School, Itasca
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Sixth, 7th and 8th grade students can choose STEM Lab as semester elective. Art, Music and Spanish are other choices.
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Students engage in projects to learn the Engineering Design Process. If you do a google image search you’ll find great graphics to illustrate that process. Here’s a link we like; nice visuals and some worksheets, too.
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Peacock’s STEM program evolved from their project-based Industrial Technology course. That course teacher worked with the principal and school board to make the STEM lab a reality. District 10 schools collaborate to provide their students with great opportunities. District foundation grants have helped with funding.
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Students collaborate in small groups. A modest class size ensures that all students can use the array of equipment and benefit from the teacher’s attention.
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These STEM aficionados are working on a catapult to launch candy. The students began with three potential designs.
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Here’s a Catapult Game you could try.
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Testing their devices, students are learning about variables, controls, standardizing trials and more, as they collect data. Make sure to set specific criteria for the challenge you present.
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These “boats” are being designed to carry pennies on water. Given a problem, brainstorm, do some research, brainstorm some more, design, build, test, rebuild, test again! Link to this Straw boat challenge, one of many you can find on the internet.
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Encourage questioning. As Ms. Frizzle, of the Magic School Bus, says, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
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Students work together as they test their invention to move simulated toxic material (popcorn).
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A good trial! Looks like the team will be able to move the hazardous material out of harm’s way.
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Wouldn’t you want to learn to program with BB-8?
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These students have learned to use iMovie to record and communicate their project process.
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An importance Practice of scientists and engineers is to communicate their work to others.
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An exemplary STEM Lab at Peacock Middle School!

A few recommended sites from Ms. Williams, the STEM teacher at Peacock:

  • https://code.org/ -great for free online coding lessons - sign up as a teacher/educator
  • https://codehs.com/ -great for free online coding lessons, a little more advanced - sign up as an educator
  • http://tryengineering.org/ -lessons and resources that are easily adaptable and searchable by age range, also news and grant information
  • https://scratch.mit.edu/ -students can create/remix coding projects, beginner level with lesson ideas as well