STEM (+RL) Units
These units were created to be used in a series of 3-4 home visits for MEP instructors or 1-2 weeks instruction in AIM. The focus of these units is not only on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics but also reading and language arts.
There are a lot of things we don’t know that we don’t know, so how do we come to know what it is we’ve never known? All it takes is a problem and a question. A whisper of an idea sparked by a simple question, even one like, “What else could I do with this?” and then we’re off, with bright eyes and bright ideas! To teach creativity we have to invoke curiosity and teach the ability to ask good questions. That’s the start and the heart of this lesson where students get to practice their own ingenious ingenuity by solving problems; figuring out how fly a funky little paper airplane on a tsunami of air; creating wild, wacky, and wondrous inventions; discovering how bikes are turned into blenders and soda bottles into bulbs; find out that they’re a target, learn the power of a tiny touch of yellow, ad things up, and much much more!
Chocolate. There are few foods that people feel as passionate about -- a passion that goes beyond a love for the "sweetness" of most candies or desserts. Where the mere word can cause mouths to water. But where did the human hunger for sweet begin? And why do we seem to associate candy with medicine-like powers? In this sweet lesson students get hands on (and hands in!) while creating home-made truffles, discovering the history of conversation, or rather conversation hearts, practice origami giving, and learn a little about Hansel and Gretel Much as they, much like the ill-fated siblings, follow a trail of crumbs (in the form of written clues) to progress through the forest! It’s a scrumdidlyumptious time for all!
Although the human foot has remained unchanged for thousands of years, what people have worn on their feet shows incredible diversity and an endless variety of forms and functions. Regardless, a child's delight in a new pair of shoes is the same all over the world, whether the shoes are patent-leather sandals, straw alpargatas, deerskin moccasins, or wooden clogs. And when they get to design and build a brand new style all their own? That’s a whole new level of fun! In this lesson students get to debate form vs. function, track shoes throughout time, find out what’s in a sole, walk like a Venetian (and rise high!), become shoe designers, cobble together something amazing, and much much more.
Hurry! Grab your camera and Click! The shutter snaps and the image is captured, forever frozen in time. Did you know the first camera was the size of a room? That’s rather hard to fit in your pocket! In this lesson students learn the history of cameras, learn a lot about light, poke pinholes to make living pictures, build an actual working camera, deconstruct an actual working camera [and do their best to put it back together], find out why a picture is worth a thousand words, learn what horses have to do with the history of motion pictures, and discover what makes it all click!
There are cases to solve and mysteries await, the Effective Detective can’t afford to be late, but as the cases pile up and the evidence abounds there’s just too much with only one detective around. He needs some help that’s tried and true so the Effective Detective is calling on you! In this diverting detective based lesson students become Probationary Gumshoes, meet a defective detective, see if they can spot the Invisible Gorilla, get their hands on evidence, solve mysteries, create case files, whip up some edible blood, make lasting impressions, detect dental details, and much much more! By the time they’re done they’ll become truly effective detectives!
Once upon a time in ancient Greece,…okay, hydraulics isn’t actually part of a story about a seven headed serpent slobbering all over someone, as much fun as that would be, rather it is a branch of science and engineering that really gives kids a lift! Explore the wide world of hydraulics with students, learn about that rascal Pascal and his exploding barrels, create battle-bots that run on the power of water, and much much more.
Welcome to the Harvest! In this fun lesson students make scarecrows come to life by building animatronic hands, creating incredible 3D art that jumps off the page, mapping out legends of a worldwide protector, and getting a scarecrow eye view of nature by crafting photographic poetry. It’s a lesson students will never forget!
For many people, there is only one reason to go to an amusement park: the roller coaster. Some people call it the "scream machine.” The history of roller coasters reflects a constant search for greater and more death-defying thrills and in this lesson, kids find them. Well, not death defying, but desk defying at least! Students get up and moving, hands in and minds on, as they create their own coasters from the first rough sketch of that glimmer of an idea and rocket all the way to a fully 3D model tested, retested, and ready for competition. So lower your lap bars, keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times, and get ready to launch learning in 3, 2, 1…