Innovation Across the Ages
Come See Our Innovations and Innovators' Showcase
Guaranteed to be educational and fun!
Please join us on Wednesday, May 28 from 11:00 to 12:00 in the Dell
For the first five weeks of the fourth quarter, our science classes focus on simple machines and our humanities classes explore how ancient Egypt and China's civilizations developed through problem solving and technology. The last three weeks are collaborative, hands-on, and problem-based. The students work in small groups to create and improve upon small ancient simple machine prototypes like shadufs, trebuchets, rickshaws, etc. They use the scientific method to collaborate, plan, experiment, evaluate, and draw conclusions. This experience and fine-tuning leads to the creation of life-size models that will be displayed at the showcase.
Fifth Grade Innovation Workshop - Front-load Carpentry Skills
The purpose of our Innovation Workshop on Friday, April 4 was to prepare our students for the carpentry demands they will face once they build the actual machines in the middle of May. Upon reflection from last year's experience, we realized that a front-loading of those skills (and the safety rules that needed to accompany them) would help them a great deal this year. We wanted them to learn how to saw PVC pipe and cut wood (2x1s and 2x4s) using a saw (straight cuts) and a miter box (angle cuts). We also wanted them to learn how to nail with a hammer and screw with a drill. Last Friday provided them with the mentorship they needed (facilities crew, parents volunteers, and even a teacher's husband). In rotations, they learned all of the sawing techniques they would need for the unit. Next Wednesday, they will take all of the pieces they created last Friday (6" PVC pipes and 6" 2x1 wood cut into trapezoids) to create "thingamajigs." Connecting the "thingamajigs" will give them the hammering and drilling skills that they will need for the unit.
These two days will provide them with the skills they need to construct either the shaduf, catapult, wheelbarrow, or rickshaw.