Intermediate SAGE

5th grade

Unit of Study Updates!

The month of January is here, and with it, we are beginning a new semester of learning. Our fifth grade students have been very busy in their Units of Study this past quarter. Read on to learn more about each unit and the progress we have made since last quarter!
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Pixar Animation

Creative teams experimented with stop-motion to show basic moves such as Spacing and Speed, Bouncing Ball, and Squash and Stretch. Then they worked in teams to apply their new skills to a fun Halloween animation! Students learned more about the work of Pixar designers and technicians and the use of math and science used to create animation including the use of “controlled randomness” to mimic patterns in nature. Finally, students investigated the coordinate grids and parabolic arcs used to build environments for Pixar feature films.
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Planning, shooting, and editing video packages are the skills we’ve focused on in broadcasting this quarter. Students have chosen areas of interest and worked in teams to plan and create their own feature segments. We have also filmed a few episodes of our SAGE News show to give the students firsthand knowledge of the many skills and responsibilities it requires.
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First Lego League

The FLL Research Project is an important part of the preparation for an FLL team. This quarter each team worked on its own research project. The teams’ projects corresponded with this year’s challenge topic INTO ORBIT. The challenge was to have each team identify a human physical or social problem faced during long duration space exploration within our Sun’s solar system and propose a solution.

The Research Project consisted of the following parts: Research & Analysis of the topic, Finding a problem, and Developing an innovative solution. This quarter our main focus was designing a solution to the problem. The ultimate goal was to design an innovative solution that adds value to space exploration by improving something that already exists, using something that exists in a new way, or inventing something totally new. Our next step is to create a presentation to share our ideas with others.

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NASA's Journey to Mars

After studying actual images taken of the Martian surface, students in the Journey to Mars UOS decided where they would land and build their colony. The age and size of surface features, along with other survival considerations, had significant impacts on their decisions. The students also investigated what would be the biggest challenges for survival and how they would work to overcome those challenges.

After gathering a large amount of information, it was finally time to begin planning and drawing a scale model of their colony. Following that, was the creation of their actual model base made from wood, paper maché, sand and paint. They will spend most of the 3rd quarter building their structures and writing descriptions and justification for what they have chosen to include in their colony. It’s beginning to look very futuristic around here!

Outbreak - the Science of Disease

This quarter, students have continued with their case study about the E. coli outbreak. They are nearing the point where they will create their presentations about the cause of the outbreak, as well as measures to stop it. Students also have been learning about different agents that are the source of an outbreak, using a variety of resources - even augmented and virtual reality. To record their learning throughout the year, they have also been using Book Creator to write their own course textbook. Finally, students have been learning about the epidemiologic triangle and how it epidemiologists use it stop an outbreak.
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Arduinos, Laser Cutters, 3-D Printing Shark Tank

We continued our focus this quarter on how the components of a system, their behaviors, and interconnections work together to create something new. We switched classes the second week of November. One half of the class has learned to use flux, a soldering iron, solder, and adhesive copper tape to create a soldered bookmark. The other half of the class has designed two projects in a 3-D CAD program using specific parameters. They have adjusted the snap grid, dimensions of a work plane and learned to create holes as well as manipulate and combine shapes. In addition, the students have become familiar with the parts of a 3-D printer.
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During our second quarter, 5th graders mastered the vocabulary for family members and practiced participating in simple conversations about their families. A favorite topic of the quarter was Day of the Dead, in which we made sugar skulls and learned how family members are honored and remembered in Mexico. Students are beginning to make progress from the “Novice Low” level of language learning to the “Novice Intermediate” level. This involves moving from memorized word lists to using simple sentences about a known topic. (For example, saying, “I have two brothers.” Or “I live in Kansas City.”)