This is 'Iolani School

This is 'Iolani School

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kindergarten Builds Their Own Bridge Designs

After learning about bridges and building 3 different types of bridges, the kindergarteners imagined their own bridge idea, planned it, made a list of materials and were ready to build. The groups came up to our "ClassDepot" to get what they needed and then they were off to build. After the building was done, each bridge had to go through two tests: A stability test...could a wind-up car move safely across the bridge. A Strength many nuts could a cup hold in the center of the bridge. After they recorded the results of the tests, they had to reflect on how they would make the bridge stronger or more stable.

Here's some of what they made.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2nd Grade Structures-Complete

With a little paint and their statues on top, here are some of the pedestals our 2nd graders made in the lab. If you look closely, you might even see the symbol they made on the laser cutter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Making in 3rd Grade Science

For years, our K-3 science teacher has done a great unit on space with our 3rd graders. Towards the end, the students imagine, plan and create space craft out of "trash".  It was my pleasure to go into their science class during their creation time and give a helping hand cutting or hot glueing.

Presenting @ National Science Teachers Association S.T.E.M. Forum 2016

This Thursday, May 21st, I will be presenting at the NSTA S.T.E.M. Forum in Minneapolis, MN. The title of the presentation is, "The First Year of a Lower School S.T.E.M. Lab".

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Making Lighthouses in Kindergarten

In their classrooms this quarter, the kindergarten students have been learning about lighthouses. How they are made, what they are used for and the different types of lighthouses. As part of this unit, they also learned about economics. To put these two things together, the teachers wanted them to buy pieces of a lighthouse and then build it. This is where the Lab came in.

Because many lighthouses are made with dovetail joint, the teachers wanted to make the lighthouse pieces connect with dovetail joint. You can do a lot of things with a laser cutter, but we couldn't figure out a way to make these joints. So we did the best we could and made what we called, "Semi-Dovetail Joints".

After buying their pieces of the lighthouse, the students come into the Lab for the building phase. Before we built the lighthouse, we had a quick lesson on electricity and circuits. The students were taught that their are two points of contact, a + and a - pole to a battery, and that electricity moves in a circle (called a circuit). 

Then came the time to build. Students got out the pieces they purchased and off them went. Once their portion of the lighthouse was put together, it was secured with a rubber band. When everyone was done, we put the lighthouse together. 

Toping the lighthouse is a light that was made by the Lab. We used both the laser cutter and the 3D printer to create the pieces. The light was made with a coin battery, and LED and some wire.

Monday, May 11, 2015

2nd Grade Structure Building--Part 2

These are some of the statues that the students made in their class. You may notice som of the symbols on the statue was designed by the kids and made on the laser cutter in the Lab.

Using the knowledge they gained last week with our building bridges lesson, the 2nd grade started making the prototype pedestals for their statues. They followed the design process of asking questions, imagining various ideas, planning one idea, creating + testing it, and improving it.

The last phase is to build the actual platforms for their statues. We'll used what they learned from making the prototypes plus add a couple of requirements (like minimum and maximum height). Using tape, scissors and cardboard here's what the process looked like.