Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making babies and spitballs

Two projects have caught everyone's imagination this week: 6-7's Rockets and 4-5's animation.

STEM week in 6-7 (or STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) involves students forming Space Tourism Companies.  Goals are set and pathways to success agreed upon: "consider all options" and "learn to work with others."  Each company develops a budget and a rocket model for space tourism.  They will create an ad to attract customers and at the end of the week present ads and launch their rockets.

Each day there is a discussion of ethics.  Today's socio-scientific topics concerned ethical implications of space pollution, who owns space, and terrestrial currency (in case space becomes privatized).  Engineering and math skills came into play as students calculated angles of launch via projecting a missile at a target  - in layman's terms, shooting a spitball.

4-5 students are animating their autobiographical timelines.  I think their teacher is as excited as they are - devoting her weekends to figuring out the animation program.  As you can see from the photo, the kids are pretty good at creating animated versions of themselves.  What's harder is making a younger self.  Students were discussing, "Tomorrow we're learning how to make babies."

Meanwhile in 6-7, I rhetorically asked with wonderment, "In what school is shooting spitballs an assignment?"  With a smile, Hannah said, "Parker."

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