The middle school students continue to surprise and impress me with their creativity and perseverance. With only a couple days of school left this year, their accomplishments thus far are an encouraging reminder of the great things to come in 2018.
Community Workshop 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade
No glue. No tape. Just cardboard, knives and genius.
Community workshop students designed full scale chairs that could hold the weight of an adult. No adhesives of any kind were allowed- students relied on their knowledge of the engineering design process, geometry and support structures to build their chairs.
At the outset of the project, students were introduced to the mountains of cardboard that had accumulated after the school supplies were unpacked in August. A discussion of resources and waste ensued! We then generated concepts by researching ergonomic chair designs. Students sketched ideas, defended their designs in collaborative teams, and then decided on a final design. After dimensioning multi-view sketches, they built prototypes from cereal boxes and tested their designs. Finally, students spent weeks constructing and testing their chairs before presenting the final product. Students worked tirelessly and should be congratulated- the end results were spectacular!
Now that the chair project is over, students have turned their attention to the Science and Innovation Center environment. Teams of students have adopted different projects aimed at improving, innovating and caring for our school environment. Projects range from designing and building a greenhouse irrigation system to redesigning our food waste program.
8th Grade Physical Science
This trimester, the students focused on how elements and molecules combine, as well as the structure of the atom and how that relates to the periodicity of elements. In addition to conducting many investigations to construct an understanding a chemistry concepts, they created short films with chemistry special effects. When we return in January, we will wrap up our chemistry unit, focusing on chemical reactions, and then turn our focus to physics.
Design and Modeling 7th Grade
Students in Project Lead the Way: Design and Modeling are currently working on the puzzle cube project. In this unit students will:
Apply the design process to create a puzzle cube.
Apply a mathematical model to study a situation.
Design shapes in a coordinate system.
Transfer a two-dimensional representation to a three-dimensional solid model using technology.
Study basic geometric shapes and use combinations of objects to form more complex objects.
Create a solid model using a computer-aided design (CAD) application.
Fabricate and test their design solution.
Use a mathematical model to analyze test results.
Automation and Robotics 8th grade
Students in PLTW: Automation and Robotics were introduced to several mechanisms that change speed, torque, force, type of movement, and direction of movement. After building the mechanisms and discovering how they are used, students were tasked with combining mechanisms and building either a pull toy or windmill.
The next project:
Imagine that the year is 2201. The Earth as we know it no longer exists. Through a catastrophic event the human race has nearly ceased to exist. A multi-discipline group has survived and needs to rebuild our civilization using only recycled materials that can be scavenged from the existing environment.
In this challenge you are an engineer on a team that will create mechanical systems to help rebuild our civilization.
Passion Project 8th grade
Students in passion project spent the first trimester brainstorming, planning, and researching to refine and develop their project ideas. The projects cover a wide range of topics, including marine biology, sign language, cooking, video game creation, dance, and mural art to name a few.
6th Grade Math
Students in 6th grade math recently completed Unit 4: Number Theory and Fractions and have moved on to Unit 5: Fraction Operation. This group works each day to build number sense and develop stronger problem solving with an amazing, can-do attitude.
The National Junior Honor Society worked tirelessly this trimester to reestablish the waste systems at our school through education and implementation. They also spent countless hours planning the fall greenhouse fundraiser, the 2nd Annual Bingo Blowout! Thank you to all who participated and gave generously. We raised over $1000 for greenhouse supplies!
Next year will bring a whole new set of goals and challenges for this inspiring group of students.