As part of our federation STEM day (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) this morning the children heard the story ‘The lighthouse keeper’s lunch.’ We spoke about lighthouses and what they are used for and the children were challenged to build the tallest lighthouse and to place a light on top. We encouraged the children to build their lighthouses as tall as possible and change strategy if their towers fell over; did they need less bricks, more bricks, a different place to build their tower, use different bricks, did they need a bigger base…. The children worked in pairs to create their lighthouses and once they were happy with it they put their light on top. All of the children worked well together and changed strategies; they listened to one another and chose different places to build their models. We counted all of the bricks and announced the winners.
The children enjoyed completing problem solving activities about ‘The gingerbread man’. The children made their own gingerbread men, carefully measuring the ingredients and watching the changes that happened when they were cooked. They then thought about how the gingerbread men would cross the river and used their engineering skills to design and make boats. The children tested their boats and discussed their observations. Finally the children set up an enquiry to observe changes over time. The children predicted what could happen when the gingerbread men were put in different liquids (oil, milk and water). The children will carefully observe what happens to the gingerbread men and discuss what they learn.
Year 1 and 2:
The children enjoyed completing different problem solving enquiries in each classroom. The enquiries all involved measuring and engineering.
Enquiry one was to work as a team to engineer the tallest tower using paper. The children measured their towers accurately, recorded the heights and compared which was the tallest.
Enquiry two required the children to construct a strong paper tower and to test the strength using books. The children investigated how much weight their models could hold, recorded their data and compared which type of tower was the strongest. The children discussed what made the cylindrical tower the best at holding the most books.
Enquiry three gave the children the chance to take ownership over their learning and choose their own measurement challenge about length or capacity. The children had a selection of cards with challenges to construct models using different materials and compare the length of the models. The other option was to complete a capacity challenge filling different containers using various implements, making predictions about the capacity of a container or measuring the capacity using alternative units of measure (lego bricks).
It was fantastic to see so many parents join us to celebrate the end of STEM day. The children showed their families each activity and explained what STEM stands for. Three children even made up their own song about STEM day!
If you would like to complete more STEM learning at home see below.