First grade had the opportunity to participate in two S.T.E.M. activities this month! S.T.E.M. stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It focuses on creative problem-solving while planning, building, and revising projects.
Our first project was apple structures. We used chunks of apples and toothpicks to build all kinds of interesting things! Some of the kids planned to make animals while others built towers or crystals. Still more made people or ninjas. Someone even built a train! “I liked making people with the apples,” stated one child. After building our apple structures, we evaluated how we did by asking ourselves questions about our project like: did we build what we said we would build, and could we tell what it was? It was fun to see how engaged the kids were during this project! It was also great to see how the kids worked together in a small group.
Our second project was to build a raft for Johnny Appleseed (aka a small paper Johnny) to use to help him cross a “river” that was too deep to walk across. We could only use craft sticks and yarn to make our rafts. This one was a bit more difficult. Many of the kids tried to make a flat raft from the craft sticks, and it wouldn’t stay together. After brainstorming ideas on how to do it, the kids came up with great ideas by wrapping or tying the yarn around small bundles of craft sticks. We tested our rafts in a container of water to make sure Johnny wouldn’t drown! We had a great time!