Friday, December 6, 2013

STEM Family Night

     I have to apologize for the lack of posts.  It really isn't that I haven't been focusing on STEM lessons, but my personal life got very exciting.  We have added to our family through adoption, so my focus has been on acclimating a 9 year old boy into a new family.

      Tuesday night was a BLAST!  We had a STEM  Family Night, and each classroom was to offer a hands-on opportunity or a presentation to families.  I moved my activity to an empty classroom, brought in a bunch of random "STUFF" from around my classroom, and prepared for the night.  During the school day I showed my students videos of Rube Goldberg, with an emphasis on the videos using toys.  We brainstormed all of the things we saw around the classroom we might use, and packed them up on a cart.  We included: Legos, K'Nex, tape, meter sticks, marble run blocks, toilet paper rolls, empty binders, hot wheels, dominoes, etc.  The goal was to set up a machine that would push one of those buttons from the Office Supply store that says NO!

We started with a group of people, who were supposed to rotate after 30 minutes to another class, but most of the first group didn't leave.  We did have some come in for the second session and join us. 
A match box car rolls down the track..... 
and to the table where.... 


it knocks over the dominoes



that are marching across the table....



to the beginning of the VERY PRECARIOUS steps.... 

of more dominoes (that fall at the slightest touch)


and knock into the bouncy ball which rolls down the ramp....


and tube system, to the.....


next ramp of taped meter sticks supported by bamboo sticks also taped together in a tripod..... 

where it hits the tennis ball and rolls down the ramp....



knocks into the binder, and hits the button that says NO!  

If you'd like the action packed video..... here you go. 

This was really fun to do with the parents.  Our parents were great about letting the kids suggest ideas and then help build them.  The whole thing took and hour to build, and the Dads were quite bummed about the ONE DOMINO fail.  The students, however, are excited and we are now using our engineering time to build another one. 

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