"Fall" Into STEAM
Weather-watching is our focus this fall as our kindergarten STEAM learners hone their observation skills. We kicked off the year by creating weather art by using markers to be the wind, dripping watercolor paint like rain, and then blowing through straws to return as some more wild wind! Now our students are learning there are four parts to the weather: what's in the sky (sunny or cloudy), what you are wearing (warm or cool temperatures), if it's windy, and if it is dry, rainy or snowy. We can talk about what we observe as well as record our weather-watching observations in pictures and words (labels).
Collaboration is a touchstone of our first-grade STEAM program. Our young scientists began by making a colorful balloon tower, celebrating both the ways in which materials can be used in unique ways as well as how important each person is in contributing to our learning. We then made collaborative art based on Diane Alber's book, Spots. To begin our work with light, we made individual art using translucent ("kind of see through") materials. Students are learning how some materials are transparent (see through), translucent (kind of see through), and opaque (not see through). Depending on a material's ability to let light through, we can then use it for different purposes. For example, opaque materials make excellent bedroom curtains while translucent materials let us share messages across distances.
Our second-grade scientists will be learning about solids as well as water this year. So to begin our time together in STEAM, in connection with our school theme, our young learners created beautiful artwork using bubbles. Their water-colored, soapy art then led us to make some great observations using a few of our senses. After understanding that our senses can provide us with information about materials, we have begun exploring a variety of solids. We will use our observations to help us make design choices as our second-grade scientists are presented with an upcoming engineering challenge.
It's all about magnets in our third-grade STEAM sessions. We have explored magnets' purpose in having fun: painting with magnets, playing ring games, doing mazes, and even building with Magnatiles and Magnaformers. Then we saw the more purposeful, problem-solving ability of magnets as our learners tried to create magnetic locks. Now we are wrapping up our work with magnets by creating interactive storybooks to share with our kindergarten students, inspired by Herve Tullet's book, Let's Play!
We exploded into the new school year with paint rocket fun! After creating some incredible triptych art, we channeled our energy into learning about the ways in which living things have structures that function to help them survive. To learn about living things' structures and their functions, we have fed Venus fly traps and used our sense of smell like salmon migrating back to their birth place across hundreds of miles of rivers. We are now learning about our sense of sight, which will allow us to learn about what causes different types of blindness as well as investigate the science behind optical illusions.