Posted Date: 12/02/2019
Third grade science classes study force, motion, gravity and position for their second unit of the year. At the end they do the STEAM challenge. Students have to use the design process and what they have learned to complete it. They do two days of research and design planning. The teams are made up of a facilitator, lead design, lead researcher and material manager so each student has a sense of responsibility for the project and they learn to work as a unit! Once they have an in-depth plan, classes spend two days building, followed by a day testing their prototypes. This allows students to move back to the evaluation stage of the design process to find out what went wrong and how to go about fixing it, which is great for building growth mindset and problem solving skills!
Once they have a finalized project, students host a carnival. They have to explain how force and motion plays a role in their games. They bring prizes, create prize amounts, and give set directions on how to play each game. They do give out tickets, but they give one ticket with the point amount written on the back. This way, instead of just counting individual tickets, students have to actually do the math to calculate how many points they have in order to get the prizes that they want! Groups have two team members stay and run the game, while the other two go out to play the games of their classmates! After awhile they switch. Teachers have them do it this way because it helps them build patience, and it gives them the opportunity to be in charge of the learning and activity, which they love.