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.
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.