Our first, second and fifth graders have been hard at work with iSTEAM: STEAM being our expanded Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Music and Math program, with the "i" representing the international and global piece that is integrated into each one of these lessons.
Our first grade unit, entitled "How is the World Connected?", had our students begin the year learning about another developing country and its resources, and creating villages based on their research of the country's architecture. They also discovered how villages can grow bigger with more resources and the need for infrastructure. Using Legos, they built several simple machines and learned how human needs have spurred invention. This led to more complex building of larger cities with transportation modes and infrastructures, including community businesses, such as hospitals and banks.
The second grade unit was "How Are We Connected to Our Natural World?" Our students studied the significance of water as a natural resource, looked at looked at solids, liquids and gases (the different states of matter) and connected this to the properties of water and the water cycle. They also learned about the solid forms of water (ice and snowflakes) and their symmetry, followed by design of different equilateral shapes and snowflakes showing their symmetry, providing a unique lesson in the connections between math and design. Students also studied water as an animal habitat and created animal appendages for marine environments, as well as a mural of a marine habitat. Next they will look at the percentage of fresh water and salt water on the Earth by using Google Earth, and discuss our water resources.
The fifth graders are learning about electricity and light as energy and have connected with peer groups from Pakistan and Palestine, as part of the Level Up Village program. School children from each country are learning about the same topic and, together, reflecting on their learning with videos that they send to one another, giving students an opportunity to learn more about students interests abroad and engage in meaningful conversation. All students also worked on TinkerCad, a 3D design tool, and used a 3D printer to design zipper pulls, in preparation for a 3D design and creation of a solar operated flashlight. Our students will discuss the difficulties they have generating and keeping electricity with the students overseas, giving our students a unique global perspective on the availability of energy. Learn more about Level Up Village here.