[Each week Ms. Darea’s first grade class has a STEM lesson that crosses the curriculum and lasts all week. Here is what Ms. Darea had to say about Project #9.]
We spent the week learning about snow because we began our Polar Animal unit, and balance in science. On Monday we made fake snow. Each group collected their materials, water and a cup of super absorbent polymers. They had to measure out 32 ounces of water. Some groups only had 8 oz and 16 oz measuring cups so we made arrays to figure out how many times they needed to fill their measuring cups.
The kids predicted what would happen when they combined the materials they collected. A lot of kids thought it would make a paste some thought it would just dissolve in the water and make cloudy water. They were very surprised when the stuff grew wildly as it absorbed the water!
On Tuesday we experimented with balance. We read a book called Equal Schmequal to introduce balance. The kids determined that weight had to be distributed equally in order for something to be balanced based on the story! Then each student had to balance a cup, a book, and a paper on their heads and determine which was hardest and which was easiest to balance. On Wednesday, the kids did balance activities in PE. On Thursday, we did more balance lessons, this time with a balance beam, two different kinds of pan balances, and a number balance. They had to write sentences to describe items which they found had equal weights in our classroom. On Friday we brought the two things, snow and balance, together. We did an introduction to symmetry on the Mimio board. We then learned about snowflake symmetry, viewed some snowflakes on the Internet, and learned how to make snowflakes.