More awesome learning about wind energy! Students using data to make predictions!
Our students are now shifting their STEAM learning to the study of energy, mainly through the use of our new Vernier mini-wind kits. The kits were purchased via a grant from the VWR foundation. The program integrates science content, practices, technology, math, and engineering in a very collaborative, hands-on, and engaging way. We will continue this project after winter break.
In the month of September and part of October, our students engaged in activities and projects that focused on the practices of Planning and Carrying out Investigations, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, and Interpreting and Analyzing Data. Vernier temperature probes were used in investigations and projects such as exploring temperature in a chemical reaction, constructing and testing solar ovens, and designing and testing an insulated cup.
The fog lifted and sunny skies prevailed this morning, which allowed us to test our solar ovens. Last week students constructed solar ovens using pizzas boxes (Thanks McKenzie Evers for your help with that part!). Our students have been learning about energy transfer, and this activity is great for learning about solar energy, science inquiry, and a few engineering design skills as well. As with the other labs we’ve been conducting, this project used Vernier temperature probes to collect data. Part of that process also involves data analysis to see the big picture. We plan to keep the solar ovens this year and perhaps use them in May or June on a warm day for a follow up activity.
Today our students learned about states of matter, and measured temperature change during a chemical reaction, which in this case was baking soda and vinegar. We were very impressed with how our students followed directions during the lab, and how hard they persevered during the lab write up that followed.
Our students engaged in an introduction to using Vernier Temperature Probes used for collecting and analyzing data. In the coming weeks students will using technology for science inquiry investigations and engineering projects.
We have hit the ground running in the new year and are immersed now in a new STEM unit – Bridge Engineering. Over the next few weeks, students will build and study different bridge design. We are using a Vernier force sensor to measure the amount of force that can be applied to each bridge and collecting data. Writing and researching are integrated into this unit as well. Students are researching notable bridges from around the world for a future essay, and they are writing and diagramming in engineering journals. The culminating project will be to build a truss bridge made only out of construction paper and masking tape. Each bridge will also be tested with the force sensor. Stay tuned for more!
Our motion and energy studies continue. Today our students learned about potential and kinetic energy. They have built rubber band powered vehicles using Legos, and they are in the process of using Vernier motion sensors to measure the relationship of potential energy vs kinetic energy.