Hour of Code and more!

Thank you to Jen Bevan for organizing our Hour of Code for all students grades 1-6 on our last STEAM day!  The students worked hard to practice programming through the national Hour of Code event.  In addition to coding this last STEAM day, all students worked through a design challenge surrounding the concept of THRUST, and also created beautiful art projects for the holidays.  As always, our entire staff works tirelessly to make these STEAM days special and engage all students in various science, tech, engineering, art and math learning.


We are very excited to present the next STEAM Day at Spring Hill.  This Friday's focus will be on building bridges! Students will learn about three different types of bridges: beam, truss, and suspension.  We will also be focusing on the forces that need to be considered to build a bridge that can withstand "significant" load. 

Our Driving Question for Friday's STEAM Day: What design style of bridge can withstand the greatest load and how is that load dispensed throughout and across that bridge?

Our schedule for the day will be to start with our regular Friday schedule, periods 1 and 2.  Students will go to math 3rd period, and midway through we will begin our intro to bridges and design, giving kids the info they need to start designing and building the bridge of their choice after lunch.  And then the building begins! Towards the middle of 5th period, students will be testing their prototypes to see which bridge answers our driving question.  Our STEAM day ends with a celebration of the bridges that best withheld varying loads, and an ending assembly to introduce our next Superflex character and social skills theme for the week.  This will be an exciting STEAM experience!

Designers of Tomorrow September 25, 2015

STEAM Days (Science Technology Engineering Art Math): Each STEAM day, students are presented with a Design Challenge where they work in varying partnerships and groupings to develop creative solutions. Following the Design Thinking process, students Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. These days also work to build school community and introduce a new a Social Skill to practice in the following weeks.

Designers of Tomorrow 9/25

Pairing with the Nature Conservancy, students were introduced to real life problems facing our community. With local professionals presenting problems and fielding questions, Spring Hill students will engage in the Design Thinking process to Examine, Understand and Create prototypes for solving one of the problems presented. This project will be shared at the Invention Convention along with the other original works of students. If students would like to push their Designers of Tomorrow project to a higher level, they may present it as their Invention Convention project.

Sarah Newkirk from The Nature Conservancy presented a challenge to students: How might we conserve a lot more water? If we are going with desalination, where should it be located given the various complications?

Families did work on some family identity stuff (all groups now have names!), then tackled some design thinking work on the water challenges.

After lunch they prototyped in age clusters. The prototypes are in everyone's homerooms.

Here is the plan for the prototypes:

All the design challenge prototypes will be displayed during the Invention Convention in one section of the room. Each prototype should include a brief written description, probably taped/glued to a 9"x12" piece of construction paper to make it look nicer (design name, details of how it works/what it does, other info like how they though of it or why they were drawn to it, etc ...). The writing should take 30-60 minutes in class sometime over the next two weeks. For 1st-3rd, this should be simple. I don't know how this jives with the 4-6 schedule.

These projects will be displayed in addition to any other inventions the students want to do at home.

The new theme for the upcoming weeks is Self-Regulation (Keeping Calm), which falls under Humble Confidence. The social skills characters are Glassman and Kool Q. Cumber. The skit revolved around kids being distraught over being tagged or not chosen first. Both of these situations are tough to swallow, but Glassman blew up about them while Kool Q. Cumber used strategies to keep calm (matching the size of the reaction to the size of the problem, taking calming breaths, counting down from 10 to 1, tensing the body and releasing). 

This was an awesome day both academically and with the social skills work we did.  Can't wait till the next one!