Snowflakes Across the Curriculum

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.  STEAM lessons cross the curriculum and integrate these different components into one lesson.  Fifth graders recently completed a STEAM lesson all about snowflakes and this post will better illustrate STEAM in action.

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Right before the Christmas break,  fifth grade students were put into groups.  The students were handed supplies like coffee filters, small cups, food coloring, scissors, cone shaped cups, plastic gloves, and markers.  Ms. Jay led the class in a discussion about the supplies and what they would be used for.  The class was to cut snowflake shapes from the coffee filters and hypothesize and test different dying techniques to test what methods worked best.

The real fun began as students mixed the food coloring with water and started creating colors.

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Some groups decided to cut snowflake shapes first while others decided to dye the coffee filters first.   Some groups even did it both ways.

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By the end of the lesson students determined better dying results and prettier snowflakes resulted from cutting the shape before dying.  Students took the lesson further by testing to see if marker colored snowflakes would reflect light through a window better than the food colored ones.

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Math was integrated into the lesson by discussions of symmetry.

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