Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving STEM in the Classroom

The kids kept asking if we were going to have a party for Thanksgiving. I kept saying no. They persisted. I smiled and kept saying no. After a few days of this I finally admitted that we were not having a party, but that we would do a science lesson. They cheered!

Students measured out foil, designed their boats, and then tested them to see how much weight it could hold.

You can use any kind of weight: pennies, paper clips, teddy bear counters, magnets, tiles, etc. I used grams from various measurement kits.
There were several different boat designs. I have done this project for years, and have used many different materials for the boats. My favorite material is foil.






This STEM activity goes with Thanksgiving, the Colonies, The Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, and my beach theme, just to name a few. I have also done this activity during other seasons. In fact, this is the first time I have done it with Thanksgiving, but it really fit. I could have even had my turkey escape via boat.


It is easy to pull off. If you don't want to take the time to make your own instructions or reflection assignment, then feel free to check mine out at my store.

Besides getting this as a stand alone in my TpT store, you can also purchase it as part of a bundle.
Barge Building can also be purchased as part of this Beach Themed Growing Bundle, for an additional savings. Just click on the link or the picture.

Here is the worksheet for Barge building. Students estimate the weight they think their barge will hold, then test it. They subtract the estimate from the actual and subtract the difference from the total weight times 10.
Some extra math has been embedded into the work which the students will need to figure out. I have added a slide that will help explain the steps to figure out the math.

I think the reflection is one of the most important components to STEM activities. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from you.



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