3rd Grade Science — STEM — Making Skin Models

Earlier this year, students in third grade spent many weeks studying systems of the human body as part of their science studies. To culminate the body systems unit, students made skin models. It helped them better understand the function, structure and purpose of skin.


Muddy Sneakers and 5th Grade Part II

Fifth graders have begun participating in The Muddy Sneakers program and will have several excursions throughout the school year.  The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude.  Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.  Be sure to scroll down and read Part I in of series of 5th Grade and Muddy Sneakers in the previous post.

The second Muddy Sneakers excursion had the students trekking to Fires Creek to learn about Aquatic Ecosystems. The class was divided into two groups and Muddy Sneakers leaders Kiersten and Alex each took a group to the river to check the water quality.

The students had fun hiking their way through the trails to reach the water destination. Once there the instructors took out the collecting materials and explained to the students how to collect animal specimens without hurting them. Each student was partnered up. One of the partners went into the water first with a bucket, small fish net, and a small paint brush sponge.  The other student stayed on the bank to separate the different species into separate containers.

Afterwards, the class came back together to discuss what they found. Depending on what kinds of micro-invertebrate species they had found, they could determine if the water was healthy or polluted. Students were pleased to discover that the water was good quality.

Then, students hiked up to the waterfall and we discussed what they had learned from this expedition.

Muddy Sneakers and 5th Grade Part I

For the second year in a row, fifth graders at our school are participating in Muddy Sneakers.  The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude.  Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.

Students had their first excursion to learn the rules and procedures during these field work expeditions.  Students learned things like how to identify poison ivy, what to do if they see a snake in the woods, how to use compasses and magnifying glasses, and how to behave around stinging insects.

This first day was spent walking the trails in our own Outdoor Learning Center.  During the lessons and hikes, students found some really cool fungus and discussed it as the group. They found Cobalt Crust, Stinkhorn Mushrooms, and a blanket of white fluff on a tree branch that they identified as Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator), a species that lives off the sap of beech trees.

The students really are excited to learn more on future Muddy Sneakers expeditions!

2nd Grade — Learning to Read Recipes

Last week, students in second grade practiced learning to read recipes and follow step by step instructions by making their own Pumpkin Patch Pudding Cups.

The students learned about recipe ingredients, cooking supplies and following the directions of a recipe. They had an amazing time following the recipe and creating their own edible pumpkin patch treats. Never mind the measuring, following directions, team work, math and science learned right along side their yummy pudding cups!

3rd Grade STEM — Building “Robotic” Hands

What can you build with a pile of paper, string and paperclips? “Robotic” hands.

Third grade students at The Learning Center Charter School did exactly that in conjunction with what they were learning about in science during the month of September.

Third grade teacher, Gina Stafford, and elementary science teacher, Emily Willey, wanted students to research, design, construct, and troubleshoot ways to build moving hands as a means to better understand the human skeletal system.

Stafford said, “Designing and building are foundational components of STEM education. Plus, those activities really force a student to take a deep look at how things work.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and is a guiding philosophy of education at the charter school.   The school takes it a step further by including entrepreneurship, arts and agriculture – E-STEAM.

Stafford added, “It is one thing to read about something in a book and another to delve deep and understand a topic. Building these moving hands has allowed my students to comprehend how bones and muscles work together to move our bodies. Plus the kids had a total blast.”

Other Seasonal Celebrations Around Campus at Halloween Time – Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Computer Coding

In addition to our annual Makers Mash that took place last week on Halloween, our students founds lots of other ways to celebrate the season as well.  Students in third grade decorated pumpkins and middle schoolers across the board did fun computer coding with a Halloween theme.

Apple Crazy in 2nd Grade

As part of their study on Johnny Appleseed, students in second grade had to learn how to read a recipe.  Students learned what recipes are, why recipes have ingredients as well as suggestions for cooking supplies.  They also learned how a person cooking must follow the step by step written directions when assembling the recipe.

Students were able to make a recipe called Apple Smiles where they gathered ingredients and supplies and followed the directions on assembling their Apple Smiles snacks.

Along with recipes and making Apple snacks, the students learned all about the life of John Chapman and made an Apple Fact Tree as part of their Guided Reading time.

Clearly, everyone  had fun learning about Johnny Appleseed as well as how to read a recipe.

4th Grade STEM — Energy

 

Recently fourth graders began their energy types unit by working with different STEM sets creating vehicles and a variety of electric circuits. Students collaborated in groups to figure out solutions to problems as they interacted with these much loved kits.

1st Grade Science — All About Plants

First graders have been learning all about plants and what they need to survive. They have experimented with germinating radish seeds which created much excitement! They even transplanted their radish sprouts into the garden for a future fall harvest.