Summer Academy STEAM 3-5

Week 2

Survivor Theme

This summer we have an exciting theme....Survivor! Students will be learning important skills that will help them survive in the wilderness. Students will be using the engineering design process to help them with various challenges.

Survival Skills Rotations

From the end of last week and through this week, students have had the opportunity to rotate through their survival courses among the 3 STEAM teachers- Mrs. Venezia, Ms. Gipson, and Ms. Catron. This has allowed the students to learn from various teachers and their expertise in that skill. In the 3rd and 4th weeks, students will be returning to their home classes to prepare for the Survivor Challenge! Ms. Parker will be joining the team on Monday.
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Design Process

Students are continuing to use the engineering design process this week. Each student uses an engineering notebook to document and record their observations and each of the steps in the design process for every survival challenge. We encouraged students to redesign their prototypes to make improvements to their original model. After students redesign and build their models, they test, evaluate and share their solutions with their classmates. Students will also be documenting their skills by using the site PLearning. Students can access this site at home and show you their videos, pictures, and thinking! Use the link, PLearning, and have students sign in with their Tustin or summer login and password.

Orienteering and Using Maps

Students learned various ways of how to navigate through the wilderness. They researched such ways as using magnetism (using a compass), geographical land forms, longitude/ latitude, and maps. With this knowledge, students designed their own working compasses, navigated through an orienteering obstacle course, and created maps to guide others through a hidden treasure course!

Wilderness Shelters and Signaling for Help

This week students continued to learn about how to build shelters that could protect them in the wilderness. Students completed an engineering challenge where they had to create a sturdy shelter that could fit at least one person using bamboo sticks, plastic bags, string and duct tape. Students worked in teams of four to construct a shelter that could be tested for sturdiness and protection from the weather. Take a look at some of their designs below.


Students also learned about ways to signal for help in the wilderness. The four signals students learned about were using cell phones, safety whistles, mirrors, and flags. Students practiced using mini mirrors and the sun as a way to signal airplanes and boats.

First Aid and Food

Students this week learned about how to survive in the wilderness with the natural resources around them. This included various plants that could assist with their medical needs and how to make a simple splint for a broken bone. They also learned how to make a simple trap, to capture a cricket for their meal. In our classroom, the "cricket" was a Hexbug and their simple traps consisted of everyday items we had around. We then took our meal and cooked it in a Pringles can solar oven.
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Knots and Simple Machines

Students this week learned about various knots, their usefulness and purpose. The knots included; half, square, reef, half hitch, hitch, etc. Once the students felt successful in their knot tying skills, they were asked to perform various "tasks" that they may encounter while stranded in the wilderness. The art component was that the students were able to complete a compass macramé bracelet, which showcased their knot knowledge.

Students this week also completed a STEAM project of constructing a "marble run". They were only allowed to use white construction paper and masking tape in the first phase of design. Then the students were introduced to simple machines such as an inclined plane, wedge, and lever. The students were then asked to redesign their marble run and incorporate 1-2 of these simple machines into their construction.

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Having Fun at Camp!