Blog Archives

UPDATE: 3/13/15, Materials needed for Engineering Unit


After spring break our students will be engaging in an engineering design unit called Designing Plant Packages. The unit requires many different materials. Over the next two weeks we need to collect the following materials for the unit. If you have any that you would like to donate, please send them with your child.

Thank you Mrs. Waldal and the Human Bean coffee shop for all the 1/2 gal cardboard containers. We have most of the supplies we need now. Thanks.

What’s still needed?

(10-20) 2 liter plastic bottles

Oil Spill Engineering Project

For the past several weeks, our 4th and 5th graders have been working on a project about oil spill cleanup. The first phase of the project involved students conducting pH samples to determine the sources of pollution in the fictional town named Greentown. After gathering and analyzing data, students developed presentations for the Greentown city council to identify the sources of the pollution and recommendations for further action.

The next part of the project has been for students to use the engineering design process to design, implement, evaluate, and improve a process for cleaning an oil spill so that the oil has the least impact on the surrounding ecosystem. After some study about ecosystems, students tested different tools to use for oil spill clean up. Their observations were shared between both classes, and using that information, each student group developed a plan for oil removal in a simulated river. Students were given a budget of $20 million dollars in the planning process. Student groups carried out their plans and then tested their clean up process effectiveness using special tools. From this, students earned an overall score for effectiveness and being cost efficient.

The next step will be to analyze today’s work and develop a plan to improve upon their first design. A big thank you to all parents who donated goggles, volunteered to prepare materials this fall, and help out with the activity. This would not have happened without your help.

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STEM- Designing Parachutes!

Our 4th and 5th graders are learning about the engineering design process, and using the engineering design steps to meet the following challenge: “Design a parachute to be packed in a spacecraft and used in an atmosphere that is thinner than Earth’s.” This STEM unit from the Engineering is Elementary program is new to the intermediate level and was purchased with EYST funds.

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