Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics
This week we enjoyed participating in the The Hour of Code! The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. Started in 2013, the Hour of Code now has 140,533 registered coding events--we are one of them! During the course of this week, our school pledged for every student to do one hour of code and learn about computer science.
During STEAM lab, all students learned the basics of coding. In kindergarten and 1st grade, we did a fun "unplugged" coding activity where students learned the basics of how to form algorithms.
To continue the coding lesson, Ms. Webb at Jackson Primary collaborated to provide students the opportunity to have their first coding lesson with an iPad. Kodable introduces young students to the kind of logic and the concepts needed in computer programming. The first first lesson, Smeeborg, introduces kids to the step-by-step instructions involved in programming, if/then statements, and loops. It includes the ability to unlock various levels while developing logic skills. Way to go Jackson Primary students! I can't wait to see all you know the time you are 5th graders!!
During STEAM lab at Main Campus, students applied skills taught using the Spheros to their own coding endeavors at Code.org. Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. This week, they collaborate with other coding companies to provide students with the opportunity to practice coding on a variety of levels. If your child would like to continue this wonderful experience, they may go to code.org/learn and continue coding all year long! Check out the fun below!
October has been a very busy month for the STEAM Lab! It started off with 5th grade releasing our trout in the Chattahoochee River. While we were sad to see them go, we learned it was definitely the right time. Did you know if we keep the trout too long they lose the ability to search for their own food? They also could start to think the river's dirt is their food since that's what our trout food looks like! The 5th grade enjoyed a beautiful day at the river saying good-bye to our friends.
Kindergarten: How We Organize Ourselves-Living v. Non-Living
We kicked off our investigation into living v. non-living by getting to observe our trout. Throughout the month, we have spent our time investigating what characteristics or questions do we need to ask to determine if something is living or non-living. The kids are now living and non-living experts!
1st Grade: How the World Works-Light
In Unit 2 "How the World Works", 1st grade focuses on light! After discussing the different forms of light, we have investigated how light can travel and what it can travel through. We look forward to starting shadow puppet plays in the weeks to come!
At Main Campus, we have broken down STEAM lab to focus on each element of STEAM. Students rotate through the different STEAM elements in order to become experts in the field. Students spend one week on science, one week on technology, and two weeks tying it all together through the engineer design process!
2nd Grade: How We Express Ourselves--Stars, Sun, and Moon
In STEAM Lab, students discussed each element of their science standards. First, we discussed moon phases and why they occur. Next, we programed out Sphero robots to drive the constellations that we created with straws. Lastly, we learned about how shadows change and created our own sun dials. It was a very busy unit, but the students learned a lot!
3rd Grade:Where We Are In Place &Time-Pollution & Conservation
We started out looking at how pollution impacts animals and plants in Georgia rivers. After investigating, students practiced their programming skills with Mrs. Dostie by creating pollution and conservation mazes! THis was a lot of fun. Lastly, students created recycled art animals with Ms. Yancey and Ms. Biggs. Come by the STEAM building to check out the engineer design process and the creations in person!
4th Grade: How We Organize Ourselves-Force & Motion/Simple Machines
This month, we have focused on integrating force & motion with simple machines! To begin, students investigated how levers work with Ms. Wigdale and discovered how the location of the fulcrum in relation to the load impacts the effort needed to lift the load. With Ms. Dostie, students investigated how the length of an inclined plane impacts the amount of force need to light a load after programming the Sphero robots to climb the ramps. Lastly, with Ms. Yancey and Ms. Biggs, students created their own mini finger skateboard park incorporating the elements of force and motion AND simple machines into one creation!
5th Grade: How We Organize Ourselves
After wrapping up our extensive study into electricity and magnetism, we switched gears to discuss constructive and destructive forces. After creating an underwater volcano with Ms. Wigdale, students investigated how forces impact the ocean floor. With Ms. Dostie, students thought about the impact of the earthquake in Mexico City had on it civilians and had to create vehicles to carry supplies to the people need in. Lastly, Ms. Yancey and Ms. Biggs looked at another real-life problem--levees. Students used the engineer design process to create levees to withstand water and not have a leak! It was so much fun to watch the 5th graders challenge themselves to think creatively and to be innovators!
The 5th graders have been brainstorming, tinkering, and improving our lunch box alarms this week to keep Mr. McBride out of 5th grade lunches on Monday! By tomorrow, I believe every group will have a working, unique alarm that will prevent Mr. McBride from stealing any candy. I have been so impressed with the 5th graders' perseverance and team work. When I close my eyes at night, I think I can still hear the buzzers going off! Students followed the Engineer Design Process to create their alarms.
On our 1st work day, students discussed the problem and spent time imagining what they thought their group's alarm should look like. One of the biggest struggles is that the alarm needs to go off when the box opens--not when the lunch box shuts! This concept challenged many students and also forced us to spend some time just thinking.
The next day, the groups moved on to the planning and creation phase. This is where the sounds got real and loud! The classroom was just a buzz of excitement, trials, failures, and successes as students worked together to get one step closer to having a working alarm.
After lots of tinkering and trials, Mrs. Schirmer, Ms. Preiss, and I started to see lots light bulbs go off! It was so much fun to watch when the groups had an "aha" moment! The alarms started to be come more successful as students practiced perseverance and reflection. Lunch box alarms were an amazing way for 5th graders to truly understand electrical circuits as well as were wonderful engineers! We can't wait for Mr. McBride to try to steal our candy on Monday during STEAM Lab.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day and enjoyed a longer than expected weekend last week, but we have missed seeing the Monday STEAM classes!
Electricity has been a major topic for 5th grade (and for everyone involved with the trout!) these past two weeks. After working with snap circuits, the 5th grade dove into creating lunch box alarms. Mr. LaMotte's idea was inspired by Beverly Cleary's novel Dear Mr. Henshaw! After two days of working, Ms. Preiss's students have come up with some excellent ideas of how to create a working lunch box alarm to prevent Mr. McBride from stealing their food! I have enjoyed watching the students tinker and also ideas "spark" into their heads during their team's discussions. I look forward to seeing how Ms. Preiss and Mr. LaMotte's students finish up this week. Ms. Schirmer's students will begin their lunch box alarms this week and I know they will be just as successful.
Keeping with electricity, we experienced how important electricity is to our trout this past week. Monday evening the power went out at WTJ and did not come back on for other 30 hours. I want to take a moment to thank Todd Kennedy and my husband, Michael, who battled the storm to set up a generator and diligently refill it every 8 hours to keep our trout's labitat running. It was a team effort and I am happy to say that our trout survived Hurricane Irma! The 2nd grade spent time with me discussing the life cycle of our trout because a lot occurred while we were out with Hurricane Irma. Our trout are officially fry now! This means that the look really are starting to look like little trout and it is time for us to feed them. It is so wonderful for us to have the opportunity for the 2nd grade students to witness their GSE science standards in real life. I love watching them observe our trout and ask such intriguing questions. If you have not had a chance to take care of the trout over the weekend, we have a few spots left! The sign up is below.
Before Hurricane Irma, 3rd grade finished up getting dirty and working in the garden. After reading and discussing how the Native Americans got their food, we set to work using our square foot garden method! The kids did a great job creating even arrays to properly plant their seeds. Thanks to our great researchers in Mrs. Woodrum's class, we planted broccoli, carrots, lettuce, kale, radishes, and garlic. We hope to harvest all this fall--except the garlic! We learned if you plant garlic now then you hopefully will have larger bulbs in the spring time.
The 4th grade wants your used solar eclipse glasses as soon as possible to help us donate to kids in need for solar eclipse glasses in South America and Asia. In 2019, they will be able to view a solar eclipse. Ask your family and friends if they still have their solar eclipse glasses, too. Be sure to tell them what it’s for so they understand before giving them away. Be sure to make sure that there are not any holes and they are not damaged. Please do these things to help us…
1. Bring solar eclipse glasses that are not damaged.
2. Put them in the donation bins.
3. Make sure you do this before Thursday, September 14, 2017!
We have really enjoyed watching our trout mature this week! On Thursday, our trout started to mature from egg to alevin. As alevin, they have a large yolk sac used as a food source. Each alevin will slowly begin to develop trout characteristics. Our trout patrol is doing a great job!
This week, 3rd grade helped to brainstorm, research, and plan our gardens outside the trout labitat. To begin, students in Mr. Powell’s class helped weed and measure the garden so that we could accurately plan. Next, we discussed water supply and elements of our region (Piedmont) that will impact possible plant survive. Students are excited that their ideas will help Jackson to be conservationists as we reuse the trout’s fertilized water in our garden.
With Mr. Powell’s class taking the first steps, students in Mrs. Woodrum’s class dove into research. We learned from the Cherokee the important of seed distribution and planting in rows. We plan to implement this in our garden. Did you know that we live in zone 7b according to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones? After much research, the students found six plants in season that they would like to plant—broccoli, carrots, garlic, kale, lettuce, and radishes.
Lastly, Mrs. Payne’s class helped us create garden plan, estimate the amount of each plant needed, and map out in arrays where each vegetable will go. They are great mathematicians! This was a team effort and I am excited to see it all come together next week when we start to plant. Thank you PTA garden committee for helping us make this happen!
3rd Grade Standards Addressed
S3L1.a. Ask questions to differentiate between plants, animals, and habitats found within Georgia’s geographic regions.
SS3H1.c. Discuss how American Indians continue to contribute to American life.
MGSE3.MD.4 Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch.
The STEAM lab has been busy this week! Today, our trout eggs arrived from Seattle, Washington! With the help of Small Fry Trout To Go, we will be raising 2,600 trout from eggs to juvenile trout. The 5th grade "Small Fry Trout Patrol" will monitor our water quality and trout growth throughout the whole process. All classes will participate in learning opportunities and observe the trout weekly. Our 5th grade kicked off the trout program by learning how to use the displacement method to calculate the number of eggs we received! We look forward to many more new experiences in the weeks to come. If you and your family are interested volunteering on the weekends, please click on the sign up below.
Pre-K through 2nd grade students enjoyed their hands-on, inquiry based learning as they tried to escape STEAM island! Our teachers loved watching the students' imaginations and critical thinking "spark" throughout the process. It is so impressive to listen to a kindergartner categorize material as a conductor or an insulator! At Primary, students had the opportunity to interact with STEAM members of the community as AT&T volunteered with the STEAM team. We can't wait for more opportunities this year with the STEAM Truck team!
On Monday (which seems so long ago now!), students enjoyed the solar eclipse out on the playground. Hold on to your glasses! While they will not save for the next eclipse in 2024, we are looking into the possibility of joining a program with Astronomers without Borders that will collect glasses to distribute to other countries for future eclipses.
Thank you to everyone who came out for our IB/STEAM coffee talk. We enjoyed sharing all the wonderful academic programs at WTJ with you. If you could not make it, look for our recording on Mr. McBride's principal's corner! If you have any questions or wish to volunteer to enhance our STEAM program, please email Mrs. Dostie at email@example.com.
This week, we started talking about the solar eclipse and will continue with students on Monday! The excitement is definitely in the air! In all classes, we discussed how a solar eclipse works by getting to actually model the eclipse (on a much smaller scale)! We also discussed the importance of safety during the eclipse so that we protect our eyes while we enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity.
On Monday, students will have the opportunity to view the eclipse here at school! In STEAM class, we will be constantly checking out NASA's live stream so that we can totally understand what is occurring.
Jackson has received glasses from two approved vendors--American Paper Optics and Rainbow Symphony. Both of these manufacturers are on the reputable vendors list sent out by the American Astronomical Society. Check them out here: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters
Our glasses also contain the necessary evidence that they comply with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for filters for direct viewing of the Sun.
This week, 3rd-5th graders had the unique experience of working with STEAM Truck's talented staff to explore the elements of STEAM. Each class rotated through the five hands-on, engaging stations. STEAM Truck is an Atlanta-based nonprofit with the goal to expose and educate as many children as possible the elements of STEAM. Our Spark Day focused on team-building and problem-solving as the students tried to "escape" STEAM island (some students asked if they could just stay on it all day)!
With STEAM knowledge in hand, the students were ready to return to class at Jackson. We loved STEAM Truck and look forward to more experiences in the future. Kindergarten-2nd grade will embark on their own STEAM Truck challenge August 23-25!
STEAM Wish List