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Tag Archives: STEAM

Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers

Marshmallow and Spaghetti Challenge!  This lesson will help students with communication, teamwork, and creativity.  I assigned this task in the first week of school – it was a great way for students to get to know each other and begin the discussion on appropriate group work behavior.  

The task was to create the tallest, freestanding structure possible.  Groups could use an unlimited amount of mini marshmallows and spaghetti strands… which may seem like a lot of marshmallows and spaghetti, but students will learn very quickly that more is not always better! 

To begin, each group received (about) the same amount of materials and lab sheet. Students should fill out the first portion of the lab sheet and then decide as a group the best way to construct the tower.  Groups must complete a detailed sketch and show it to their teacher before beginning.  Additionally, if a group would like to alter their initial design, a new sketch created, then additional materials will be dispersed.  Let students be creative and explore this STEAM lesson! Click here for LAB SHEET

S – scientific process
T- I introduced this project via PowerPoint and showed a short video on “Engineering” from Discovery Ed
E- Building concepts/construction
A- Visual and spatial design 
M- 3D shapes and angles 

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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Resources

 

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The Educational Value of Art Museum Field Trips

Good read! This short article taken from the Peer Reviewed Journal, Education Next, discusses the benefits of art education and field trips.  Specifically, the implication and benefits for low income and rural schools. This study shows how students, when exposed to art, through a guided tour at a well known museum, became more critical and creative thinkers and increased their interest in art museums.  Studies like this will help put the ‘A’ into STEM!!ednext_XIV_1_cover_small

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Articles, Resources

 

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Recycled Art – STEAM

This art piece was created by my 5th graders using recycled bottle caps (it took us the entire school year to collect).

STEAM teaching points:

S – Importance of recycling and the dangers of plastic in the environment.
T- Computer graphing and internet research to decide on a topic.  Students created a Google Form survey to poll the class.
E- Constructing and building the art piece.
A- Color and placement of caps.
M- Measurement of the bottle caps and backing measurements. Students also learned who to calculate the diameter, radius, area and circumference of a circle (bottle cap) Image

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Art, Lessons, Resources

 

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Safari Sunsets

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To complete these wonderful art pieces, students used a variety of art mediums, including watercolors, pen, acrylic paints and charcoal paper.  The background was created using a wet-on-wet technique.  Students learned to mix the warm colors of a sunset together to create a natural gradient. Sea salt was added to the wet watercolor background to create a star effect when dry. Next students found safari type images online and printed them out. To trace the image onto the dry watercolor, we used graphite paper. On the image and horizon line was drawn, students traced the image in Sharpie and filled in with black acrylic paint. As you can see the results were beautiful!

How is this a STEAM lesson?? Science – study the animals of the Sahara Desert and learn about the colors of the sky and color reflection/refraction.  Technology – Computer research and image editing.  Art – Exploration of different mediums and color choices, color wheel and warm colors. Math – Measurement and scaling of pictures and images.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Art, Lessons, Resources

 

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Toy A Day

Add some artistic fun into your science, social science or literature lessons with free printable character from Toy A Day.  This website allows students to put a face (or character) to the person of study. The images are downloadable PDF files and easy to print or save. There are many different characters… some educational and some fun.  I printed color images for my students. However, black and white copies will get the point across just as well!

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in Art, Lessons, Resources

 

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Fingerprint Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t get much more original than fingerprint art!

This is a wonderful way to incorporate art and technology into your forensics science lesson!

I have completed this project with students as young as 3rd grade and as old as 12th grade.  It is VERY simple!

Before beginning this project I teach about fingerprinting history, identification and actual procedure for fingerprinting.

Making Fingerprints Activity

Fingerprint Identification Chart

History of Fingerprinting 

Procedure for Fingerprint Art:

1)   Have students make a fingerprint using an inkpad and 8.5 x 11 white paper.  Have students repeat the fingerprinting process many times on the paper – to ensure at least one clear print is taken.

2)   Scan the paper containing the fingerprints – my scanner places the image directly into Picasa, which is the editing program I use.  Save the scan as an image.

3)   Open the image in a photo-editing program.

4)   Crop the image so only one fingerprint in shown.  I scanned the above example to only show the best and clearest portion of my fingerprint.

5)   This is where the “fun” comes in!  Have students play around with saturation, focus, brightness, shadows… and everything else.  The result will be a fantastic, original work of art!

6)   I printed images up for my students and placed them in a Dollar Store frame.  We displayed these during an open house!  Made a huge statement and parents loved them!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Art, Lessons, Resources

 

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False Assumptions Lesson

 False Assumptions Student Handout                     False Assumptions Teacher Handout

Purpose: Things are not always what they seem! Events can often be misinterpreted due to our tendency to attach certain meanings to words. The key is for students to recognize what the “false assumption” is in each short mystery story. The “false assumption” is what makes the solution tricky, and that many common problems are difficult to solve because we tend to assume a particular paradigm.

Background: Point out that one of the strategies of science is to recognize how easy it is to make false assumptions about the workings of nature (Earth being the center of the universe), and to devise methods for avoiding or revealing those false assumptions for what they are. This often requires a total paradigm shift…a different way of looking at the situation, in which common assumptions are critically challenged, on purpose. Encourage you students to “think outside the box” and be cleverly creative.

Procedure: Ask students to think about what “false assumption” means to them. Have an open discussion about what kinds of false assumptions scientists have made in the past, the problems this created, and how they solved the problems. Explain that science is a way to work around or through those false assumptions.

These little deceptive problem stories are presented to the class, and students are challenged to solve each problem by asking only yes/no questions.

Explain to students that their challenge is to solve each of the mysteries. Students can either as a group to solve each story or this can be conducted as a whole group lesson.  Students are allowed to ask you (the teacher) questions which can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” It is up to you how many questions each group is allowed to ask, I allow each group only one question – so they have to really think about what they are going to ask. All questions must be answered truthfully.  Encourage students to listen carefully to the other groups’ questions. Be sure to think out-of-the-box, keeping in mind the title of this assignment!

For each story, write down the answer and the false assumption.

Example Story:  A man and his son were rock climbing on a particularly dangerous mountain when they slipped and fell. The man was killed, but the son lived and was rushed to a hospital. The old surgeon looked at the young man and declared, “I can’t operate on this boy: he is my son.” How can this be?

Answer: The old surgeon was the boy’s mother           False Assumption: That the surgeon was a man.

This lesson plan is adapted from Steve Randak, 1999, ENSI.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Lessons, Resources

 

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