Ann Arbor Public Schools is hosting the district’s Third STEAM Expo on December 5th at Skyline High School. The event will include teachers and students from kindergarten to high school sharing what they are doing with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Playground models, 3D printing projects, design and modeling projects, and information on STEAM summer camps are just some of the exciting stations that will be featured at the Expo. In addition to the elementary, middle school and high school STEAM Projects, middle and high school robotics teams will showcase their work. The free expo runs from 6-8 PM in the Skyline High School Commons.
Many second graders from Carpenter will be sharing their tablet created games from PLTW and helping teach expo attendees how to create their own games!
Carpenter's kindergarten students have spent two weeks learning about forces of motion with pushes and pulls. Through a variety of hands on centers, students enjoyed learning how to push and pull. One station students really enjoyed was GoldieBlox, where we read a story and found a way to use wheels, axles and a ribbon to create pushes and pulls! Students also really enjoyed learning about collisions and got to explore how collisions work with dominos. Students loved seeing slo-motion video of their domino creations pushing into each other to knock each other down!
The fifth graders started our robotics and automation module by researching a specific robot and creating popplets to share what they learned with the class. Using the Robots iPad app, students learned how robots help do dull, dangerous or dirty work for humans. We then became familiar with our VEX robotic kits and worked collaboratively to design and create a toy with moving parts.
Second grade worked so well this week to solve our module’s final problem, creating our own game on a tablet. We started the week reviewing the engineering design process and students made a plan for their game. Then they created models in Scratch Jr. We had so many “experts” who were able to evaluate and explain their project while helping others. It was a great week of collaboration and creativity! I can’t wait for some of these students to show off their skills at the upcoming Expo. You can view your students final game project in Seesaw.
Third grade students followed the engineering design process to solve the forces of motion module problem of rescuing a trapped tiger at the zoo. Taking what they learned about forces, magnet interactions and simple machines, students built and evaluated a compound machine to lift a tiger to safety. It was amazing to see how each group chose to solve the problem in a unique way. Here are just some of the models students created combining at least two simple machines to make a compound machine. Check your student’s Seesaw journal to see a video of their model in action!
This week in PLTW, second grade discovered how to create and program a game board on tablets. Students collaborated by pair programming to create a scorekeeper game board that included two soccer goals, a soccer ball and two arrow buttons. They all really enjoyed using what they programed to keep score while they played Scorekeeper with their partner! Scorekeeper had students not only using their program to keep score but also working on adding and subtracting skills too!
The third graders have been learning about different types of forces and simple machines. This week began with students becoming familiar with the VEX IQ kits and completing a scavenger hunt to get familiar with the different parts. Students have started following set directions on their iPads to build three simple machines: inclined plane, pulley and lever. Check out Seesaw to see pictures of the simple machines your student has been building.
Second grade started PLTW this week and had so much reviewing how to code. We started the week trying to program Rosie the robotic dog with loops in our program. Then students transferred their understanding of loops to Scratch Jr. It was amazing how much they remembered from last year and I can't wait to see the games they'll create by the end of the module!
First graders just wrapped up their animated storytelling module. Students began the module learning how to use code cards to write a program for a robot dog to pick up her bones and get home. Then students learned how to use Scratch Jr. and coding blocks to create programs for their characters. Students finished the module by solving the problem of making an animate story. It was amazing to see what they were able to come up with! Check your student's Seesaw account to watch your student's animated story presentation.
So proud of the fourth grade car creations that solved the problem of protecting a real egg in a collision! Students used what they learned about potential and kinetic energy along with elastic and inelastic collisions to protect their egg. Their designs were creative and included seat beats, air bags and bumpers! Check out your student's Seesaw account for videos of their final collision!
I am excited to be starting the year at Carpenter Elementary where I will be until mid January when I move to Logan Elementary. PLTW classes begin on September 11th for first and fourth graders. If your child's teacher is using Seesaw this year, please make sure to connect to your child's journal so you can get the most up to date information about PLTW.
This is my tenth year teaching and my second with Ann Arbor Public Schools. I spent the first eight years of my teaching career as a K-8 technology teacher. I joined AAPS last year as a Media Specialist and I am thrilled to be a part of PLTW this year! In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, baking and spending time with family and friends!