Second Grade Lead Teacher; LS STEAM Liaison
As many in our community are aware, Lower School Family STEAM Night is a highlight of the year for our Lower School community. Given our current health and safety guidelines, STEAM Night, as we have known it in the past, needed to be reimagined for 2021. As always, our Lower School faculty more than rose to the occasion, creating our first-ever Lower School STEAM DAY!
Homeroom teachers partnered with Specialist teachers to create integrated, project-based learning and a day filled with fun, imaginative STEAM activities and lessons. Students were delighted to learn that they get to do STEAM ALL DAY! February 3rd was a magical day in the Lower School. Here is a snapshot of what happened at each grade level.
The PreKindergartners are preparing their Sea Monster Supermarket! The market is a celebration of the children’s seed-to-table learning throughout the fall and winter. Students created this interdisciplinary project in both homeroom and specialist classes. The children have undertaken scientific inquiries while learning about plants, programmed robotic bees in Operation Pollination, engineered market stands, exercised math muscles (counting and measuring) while tending to gardens, read informational and fictional texts about plants, and studied color and collage to illustrate their learning. The market signs are even written in Spanish! Who knew sea monsters are bilingual? The Supermarket Grand Opening will be held next week; we can’t wait to tell you more about it!
It was a Fairy Tale STEAM Day in Kindergarten! Students listened to the classic Fairy Tales Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Little Pigs. Students made their own Fairy Tale puppet, creating either a Jack character or a pig. Using their imagination and engineering skills, students built either a beanstalk for Jack or a house for their pig. The big bad wolf (disguised as a blowdryer) attempted to “blow down” their creations! After learning about the artist Romero Britto with Ms. Fecteau, students drew their own artistic beanstalks inspired by his work. Students will also plant and grow their own bean plants!
First Graders took a deep dive as their classrooms were transformed into underwater caverns for STEAM Day! Students began the day thinking about underwater worlds and building them out of Lego. They learned about coral and created their own coral with borax crystals, oil pastels, watercolors, and salt painting. The water theme continued with aluminum foil boats, as students explored which type of boat could hold the most pennies. Mrs. Bloom guided the students through making fish and bubble paintings! Lastly, students created “lookout towers” during a marshmallow tower challenge!
Second Graders enjoyed a fun day of SNOWFLAKE STEAM! Students learned the science behind snowflakes and how they are formed. They learned about symmetry and created their own symmetrical Q-tip snowflakes. Students listened to a biography about Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, who photographed snowflakes back in the 1880s. Señora Verduzco helped the students follow instructions in Spanish, to create grid paper snowflakes. The Second Graders explored patterns and engineering concepts as they created snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and pony beads. Students learned logo coding through the use of turtle art. They coded and created their own snowflake on their iPad. With the help of Mr. Iacobelli, they will be able to burn their snowflake in acrylic on the glow-forge. Second grade has been transformed into a winter wonderland!
In Third Grade, STEAM Day was integrated into their Colonial life social studies unit. In the “Boston Tea Party Engineering Challenge,” Third Graders built "crates" to protect their teabags from leaking into their personal Boston Harbor! As pod teams, students built structures that represented the dimensions of a cord of wood. Students built their structures using wood and tape. Students developed a greater understanding of size as colonial farmers used 30 - 40 cords of wood a year! With Mrs. Jo, the Third Graders built their own instruments out of wood dowels and construction paper. Finally, students had the opportunity to create a tin foil model of the animal they selected for their animal research project! It was an exciting day of integrated learning in Third Grade!
The Fourth Grade took advantage of STEAM Day to build upon their interactive, multi-disciplinary unit on the water cycle! Fourth Graders have been investigating their daily use of water, and they calculated how much water their families use daily. Students will then take the knowledge they've learned about the water cycle to create a brochure, an iMove, or a Google slide show to teach their own families ways to help cut back and save water. Students also utilized their mapping skills to create a terrain model of the watershed of our area. With the help of Mrs. Kurtz, students applied their knowledge of the water cycle as they created their own mini terrarium. Following STEAM Day, Mrs. Kurtz and Mr. Barry will take the Fourth Graders on a walk around campus to show students ways that we have water-conscious structures and engineering here at GFA.