STEM Education with Mr. Kinz

Educating students to be creative and innovative thinkers.

Spring Updates

Well our year is getting close to wrapping up and STEM classes are moving along.

  • Our Kindergartners will be wrapping up their unit on pushes and pulls as the year comes to a close.
  • The 1st graders will be working with tracking the sun using our custom sun dials.
  • Our 2nd grade class finished their designs for their pencil sharpeners. I will be working on designing them in our 3D program this summer so that we can print them out over the summer.
  • The 3rd graders are working on simple and compound machines. They are learning how simple machines are used to help us accomplish tasks that we cannot do on our own.
  • The 4th grade class will finish the year learning about energy, the different types of energy, and how energy is converted to help humans.
  • The 5th grade class is discovering the world of germs and infections.

Updates for the New Year January 2017

Happy New Year!

The new year is here and our students are bringing their 1st projects to an end. We will soon be starting our new projects during the month of January. Our Kindergarteners will be moving into the world of pushes and pulls. The first graders will finish up with light and sound and move on to observing the sun, moon and starts. The second graders are transitioning to form and function. The third graders will be moving into forces and interactions while the fourth graders will be moving from energy collisions to energy conversions. Finally, the fifth grade class will be taking their knowledge of robotics to complete a robotics challenge. It is going to be a fun start to 2017 in STEM classes.

Updates for the week of 10/31 - 11/04

Kindergarten PLTW

The kindergartners made it through creating their own beanstalk. The next step was to design and build a house that could withstand the big, bad, wolf (aka. a high wind storm). After being placed into groups they had to figure out if they wanted to use foam bricks (bricks), toothpicks (Straw) or popsicle sticks (Sticks). They then had to decide what adhesive they wanted to use. They could choose clay or glue. In the end, all of the houses survived and are still standing. They now make up our little town that our train drives through.

1st Grade PLTW

The first graders are working on light and sound. They have been studying how light travels and how sound travels slower than light. They are also working on concepts such as reflection, shadows and mirroring. For sound they are learning about how sound waves travel into our ears so that we can hear. They are also learning that, like light, sound can reflect as well. We are going to be learning about colors and how we see colors next.

2nd Grade PLTW

The second grade class is really digging in to matter. They are studying the different states of matter as well as how matter can change and sometimes change back. We have observed how water freezes but air and solids sometimes don't. We have also taken leaves and frozen them to see how they change when they thaw out. We will be getting into how heat affects matter very soon.

3rd Grade PLTW

The third graders have completely be engrossed in the science of flight. We have been studying the difference between powered machines versus engineless machines. We have been working on how thrust, weight, lift and drag all work together to make flight happen. We also learned how to control them to make flight successful. We were also provided the wonderful experience of visiting a local airport, Lincoln Regional Airport, to learn more and to see up close and personal the planes we have been studying about. Thanks to Mr. Rogers (August's father from 4th grade) we were able to take a tour of the workshop at the airport and each student was able to board Mr. Rogers' plane to see how all of the controls work on his plane. We will be building our own gliders in the very near future.

4th Grade PLTW

The fourth graders are learning a lot about energy. Our focus right now is about kinetic and potential energy. They began by building pendulums and moved on to building wheeled vehicles. Their goal was to create a vehicle and then record its travel distance going down a ramp from various heights. We will be logging this information and creating charts to show the distances their vehicles traveled. This projects down the road takes us into our ultimate learning goal of collisions. They will be tasked with adjusting their vehicles to protect an egg using restraints and design much like a car manufacturer does.

5th Grade PLTW

The fifth graders are working with robotics. They are discovering what robotics does for us and they are learning that robots don't always look like a human form. They are building their own test robots and learning how to change inputs to get different outputs. In the near future they will be building a robot to complete a real world challenge.


Kindergarten Project Lead the Way

4th Grade Project Lead the Way

Week 8 (October 3rd-7th)

Moving forward....

This week we will be continuing our STEM projects.

  • Our 4th and 5th graders have organized their Vex Kits and are ready to tackle the next activity.
  • Our 3rd graders went outside to discover and discuss Thrust, Drag, Weight and Lift using finger propellers. We will continue our travels through the world of flight.
  • The 2nd graders learned what the design process is and how to apply it to a problem in order to solve it. We will be moving forward on our journey to discover matter.
  • The Kindergarteners are working hard as they are discovering the structure and function of items in our stories and in our world. They did an excellent job drawing Jack's Beanstalk and they did a wonderful job explaining how the structure of the beanstalk made it so that Jack could climb up and the giant could climb down.
  • The 1st graders, this week will be working on light and sound and also explore the design process just as the 2nd graders did.

It is going to be a fun week in STEM classes!

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Week 6 (Sept. 19-23)

All of our classes are diving in to their PLTW modules this week. With each PLTW module we begin by learning new information and figuring out what our problem is. We had a lot of fun digging in to new concepts and beginning our journeys.

Getting Acquainted (9/8/2016)

Now that we have been able to start our STEM classes we have spent this week getting acquainted with our resources and the new Innovation lab. We have been discussing the rules of the room with regards to our workbench, our Creative Creation Corner, our 3D Printer, Our Macbook Airs, our sinks, our eye washer and our train set. Pictures will be coming soon. It is a great space and our students come in with excitement and an energy that is amazing. We will start getting into our first Project Lead the Way module next week.

The 2016 FIRST Lego League Season will be here soon! <<Merryhill Robolions>>

Here at Merryhill Roseville our FIRST Lego League team, The Merryhill Robolions, looks to put together a team each year. Please let me know if you and your student are interested in being a part of our team this year.

The students that join are committed individuals as they are required to work together much like a sports team. They will work together, rely on each other, and solve various challenges and projects on their own as a team.

The season ends with a competition held at a local site. Last year's was as Intel in Folsom. They compete against up to 15 other teams during the one event. There are 3 parts to the FLL competition that the team is judged on: Core Values, Project and Robot Competition.

Check out our flyer below and let me know if you and your child are considering this adventure. You can stop by for a chat about it or send me an email.


Here at Merryhill Roseville we are always looking for ways to enhance our education and challenge our students to learn more...

For the 2016-2017 school year we will be joining a massive network of schools that participates in rigorous and challenging STEM program called Project Lead the Way. The PLTW program is an extensive STEM program aligned with the California Common Core standards that will prepare our students for the next level of education. The PLTW program isn't limited to the elementary school level. The Middle and High School levels progress even further. Check out their website for more information about this new program that we will introduce next year. Click here for the website. There are more than 50 schools in our area alone that participate in this program including Christian Brothers High School, Eich Middle School, Oakmont High School, Granite Bay High School, Olympus Junior High and Rocklin High School just to name a few.

Thank you all for a wonderful year!

The school year has come to an end and another year of fun, friends, family and education are a wrap. It has been a year of fun and discovery and next year looks to be even bigger.

Don't forget, in summer packets, there is a typing challenge for Qwerty Town. Logins are firstnamelastname1 and passwords are lastname1 (ex. magicjohnson1, johnson1)

Have a wonderful summer!!!

We are exploring the world of electricity!

For the final quarter of our school year we are exploring the world of electricity. Our students are learning what electricity is and how we are able to harness it to accomplish great things.

We are ultimately leading up to working with our brand new Arduinos.


ARDUINOS at Merryhill School Roseville!


We are also working on how to use Microsoft Excel. The Froot Loops project is a hit!