This week we made JetToys. Using materials supplied by Tesla, students constructed vehicles powered by balloons. Over the next couple of weeks, they will use their vehicles to learn more about force and motion.
An important part of 3rd grade is understanding what a habitat is and what organisms need to survive well. To help with this, we visited the Oxbow Nature Study Area and, with the help of Sierra Nevada Journeys, moved through the park to work towards these outcomes. (Thanks parents for sharing pictures that I could post to the blog!)
Today we started our newest engineering design challenge. This was the introduction and we worked with different materials to determine what would best protect a fragile package (farfalle pasta). We’ll experiment with different strategies based on a scenario in which students have to engineer “air drop packages” that can be dropped from an aircraft that protects contents and be easy to find, once they hit the ground.
The engineering kit we are working with came from a DonorsChoose project.
Great day for a field trip and a chance to learn more about arthropods in our neighborhood and habitat. Educators from the Truckee Meadows Parks led the effort and had students use aspirators, beating sheets, and a great deal of persistence to locate and draw insects into a tube. In turn, students ran a tally of what they found to learn what is most common in our area.
As always, thank you parents for all of your help.
Students completed an engineer design challenge over two days. In day one, they created a cart that could move from “here to there.” On day two, students added a ramp to see how gravity and start position affected the distance traveled. A lot of successes over the two days including several creations that traveled over three meters.
We have spent several hours this week looking at patterns in motion. Students are learning that motion exhibits regular patterns and future motions can be predicted. They are learning about wheel-and-axel systems and how the sizes of the wheels can lead to curved paths of motion.
We continued our exploration of chemistry by looking closely at how things can be put together and taken apart. Further, we worked with creating a solution and then discovering the saturation point. Students are building a important bank of understanding around dissolving, evaporation, saturation, mixture and solution.
Today we started our investigation of Mixtures and Solutions. The 5th grade chemistry we are doing is about learning that matter has structure and change can take place within that structure. The work we started will build a strong foundation for students when they move to middle school and high school.
Today we visited Betsy Caughlin Donnelly Park to work with the Truckee Meadows Park Foundation and to learn more about arthropods. Students had already done some initial studies on arthropods so the trip focused on finding arthropods and learning more about their local habitats.
The kids were persistent! Despite the challenge of finding the arthropods, the students spent over an hour, lifting rocks, shaking trees, and using aspirators to collect what they could locate.
Apart from the scientific aims, students are also learning more about being citizen scientists and how the general public can help with data collection.