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Tag Archives: STEM

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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Stem Resources For Teachers

These resources are just a bunch of my favorite websites that can be used to explain just about anything you’re doing in the classroom with a video, lesson plan or a cool image of an experiment. Blogs are also great resources, they can keep you and your students up-to-date with the latest advancements and technology! There are five sections of resources:Free Money & Materials, Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math.  Resources for Teachers (PDF)

Free Money & Materials

Treasures for Teachers – Science and technology resource center in San Diego for teachers.  Very affordable! http://www.treasuresforteachers.org/index.html

National Girls Collaborative Project – $1,000 Grant – Mini-grants are awarded to girl-serving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused programs to support collaboration, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share promising practices. http://www.ngcproject.org/mini-grant/index.cfm

San Diego Foundation – $ 1,000 Grant -This program will support the development and implementation of multi-disciplinary, classroom projects that address student needs and increase teaching effectiveness. http://www.sdfoundation.org/CivicLeadership/Programs/SanDiegoTeachersFund/ApplyforaGrant.aspx

Donors Choose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Here’s how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. DonorsChoose.org

Funding for Skype in the Classroom – Through a new partnership with DonorsChoose.org, Skype will donate $250,000 to teachers requesting technology materials to enable Skype video calling in their classrooms. Skype will give a $25 USD DonorsChoose.org Gift Card to each new teacher who registers for Skype in the classroom. The teacher can then apply the value of the gift card to any classroom project at DonorsChoose.org or one they create themselves, if an eligible U.S. public schoolteacher http://education.skype.com/

Digital Wish Grants –  http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/grant_awards Submit a technology-based lesson plan for a chance to win over 50 different technology grants.

Science

http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/ You don’t have to be a genius to understand the work of the Nobel Laureates. These games and simulations, based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements, will teach and inspire you while you’re having FUN! (Personal Favorite)

www.nclark.net. This site provides biology and chemistry resources for science teachers at the middle and high school levels. These include activities, worksheets, lab exercises, puzzles, games, online test reviews, and links to other useful pages, compiled by teacher Nancy Clark over her 37-year career.

http://www.pltw.org/educators-administrators/educators-administrators-overview Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a resource for education curricular programs used in middle and high schools.

http://bit.ly/As4mce. Global Health Curriculum– This comprehensive curriculum for high school classes, available from Seattle BioMed’s BioQuest program, covers topics such as tuberculosis, vaccines, and malaria. BioQuest data shows teens are more interested in classroom science and math when they learn how these subjects connect with global health issues. Lesson plans, interactive charts, and teacher and student packets—created by Seattle BioMed scientists, Washington educators, and animation experts.

http://www.nsta.org/publications/freebies.aspx NSTA – Freebies for Science Teachers

http://www.hhmi.org/coolscience/resources/SPT–Home.php Howard Hughes – This is a neat interactive website for searching a topic, a grade level, or a keyword and get cool science materials.

http://amasci.com/amateur/coolinks.html This is just a list of neat science links

http://www.williamswords.co.uk/# Williams Words- Great diagrams and printable resources

Technology

http://www.onlinevideocontests.com/ – Online video contests relating to science, art, technology…etc.  Most have cash prizes that can be used for you classroom!

http://lifehacker.com/  Life Hacker is a technology blog that focuses on taking stuff apart, and how to do various things on your computer, e.g. computer

http://gizmodo.com/ Gizmodo is a very interesting technology blog. It’s one of the only (excluding this one and a few others) that I go to on a regular basis.

http://allthingsd.com/ This is a website about current technology in the news.

http://arstechnica.com/ This is another blog that focuses on technology in the news

Engineering

http://www.engineeringsights.org/  Pick your state and see current engineering projects happening right now!

http://www.engineergirl.org/CMS/2987.aspx Tell your kids some fun facts about engineering. Maybe tell them one of these each day to keep them motivated and bring out their inner engineer!

http://www.greatachievements.org/  This is a neat website that focuses on all of the cool engineering things that were created in the 20th century.

Mathematics

http://www.aaamath.com/ AAA Math features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons.

http://www.ams.org/home/page ASM aims to support educators teaching math

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Resources

 

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