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!