We read the book The Three Billy Goats Gruff today and created a STEM project after our reading. I gave students the challenge of building a bridge between two tables. The two tables were exactly two feet apart. They had to use straws, craft sticks, masking tape, and pipe cleaners. They had to engineer this bridge so that three billy goats gruff could all be held on top of the bridge. It was amazing how many of the bridges were different and almost all of them held up the three billy goats. I am making this more difficult with my next classes by adding weights for students to put on their bridge in order to test how much weight their bridge can hold.
Each Tuesday there is a Code Ninja meeting after school. This after school club works on coding and computer programming. The club is run by MHS IT Academy teacher, Mr. Ferwerda.
The students get a chance to use Kodu Game Lab to create games and environments within their Kodu "world." This club has been a hit with students in grades 4-6. I have greatly enjoyed supporting this program and the work that the MHS IT Academy has put into teaching students about computer programming at the elementary level.
We have been looking for ways to integrate more technology exploration throughout the school day. One of the ideas the Gifted and Talented teachers and I came up with was to use lunch recess time to explore new technology. We decided to call this day, "Maker Mondays." During Maker Mondays, students get a chance to work with new technology and collaborate with others. We have found with this time that students are naturally coming up with projects to complete and expand on. When the permission slip went home, we had forty-three students to sign up to participate. Maker Mondays have been an awesome experience for everyone involved!