Friday, December 9, 2011

EDP - It all comes together!

Wow! I finally got to see the rocket and launch pad put together today! It was one of the single most amazing moments I've experienced thus far in the classroom as a teacher. I finally got to see into their minds and see how they were putting it all together, even though they drew it out AND explained it to me before building it. I feel they truly captured the essence of the whole unit today with their rocket on the launch pad made almost entirely of a single floppy diskette that the group had taken apart. This group needed my head in putting it together only in that I was needed for the hot glue gun, but they worked together as one team in assembling it before my eyes. It was amazing to watch them in action consulting with one another talking about how each piece was to adhere to the other pieces. I wish I had my video camera handy and had recorded them working together. Each student in their group was fully engaged in the design process and contributed equally to the group's discussion and work.

I've included a few images I captured with my cell phone, but I feel these images do not do this piece justice. Nor were the images able to capture the mechanics of the team work I saw in these 4th graders today. They have one more thing left to glue on there and that is a bit of cut apart red yarn they were using for the ignition flames underneath the launch pad.
The only added pieces here are the
pipe cleaners used to make the USA.
A side view of the launch pad showing
the metal plate used as a side wall.

I was pleased to see how the students used the pieces of the plastic diskette cover and made angled supports for the underside of the launch pad rather than a standard box design for a base. (It should be noted that the students did this part on their own, in fact, the whole design was theirs without any real guidance from me.)

We had taken a short break from first and fourth grade STEM classes this rotation as the Fine Arts team supported Dr. Katz, our music teacher, in preparation for last night's Christmas performance, but now both of these grade levels are back on course. 

Other pieces that were finished this week included a bird made originally from a plastic spoon with other additions from the materials cart, an airplane made from a plastic spoon and a craft stick, a book mark made from a craft stick, a kite made from straws and paper, a few rockets made from straws, another book mark - this was made with small drinking straws taped together then covered in decorative paper, and Breast Cancer Awareness pins made from clear straws tied into a knot shape with pink ribbon and a small safety pin on the back. Most of the items were team created items and only one creation per team, but I allowed this team to each make one of their own pins, since the supplies needed were minimal, and they had asked to be able to share them around the school with some teachers. (I still have my pin on my desk. I need to get a picture of someone wearing their pin to upload here.)
Bird made from a plastic spoon, with craft stick legs, foam sheet
body, googly eyes, and pipe cleaner beak that is holding a small
piece of yarn for a worm. The group found a piece of round
cardboard and covered it with green felt for the grass.
As we rap up this unit, students this week, except for first and fourth graders (and Kindergarten) will be taking the Engineering Design Process test for a grade (but not a large portion of their grade, since this is mostly a hands-on participation based class).

Kindergarten, on the other hand, will be exploring the science of how candy canes are made and creating their own, although not so sticky, versions to take home. They will be view two different short video clips from Discovery Education about how candy canes are made and contrasting the two methods.


Post a Comment