Book Buddy STEM Party

We had such a scientifically magnificent time at our STEM Christmas party with our book buddies! What could be a better celebration than building your own Christmas tree or trying a recipe for homemade bouncy balls? Mrs. Fogg finished an animoto today and shared it with us. We are so thankful for the joy of learning together.  Enjoy.

Our MVCS Makerspace

What is a Makerspace? A makerspace is a place where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.

Why have a Makerspace? You can read online about many, many benefits of including a makerspace in your school. A few important reasons include teaching basic problem solving, building perseverance, engaging minds, encouraging questions, providing connections between lessons and the real world, practicing inquiry, solving meaningful problems through engineering design, and much more!

Our Makerspace dream is gradually coming true, box by box and paper towel tube by paper towel tube! So many have pitched in to help us take the next step in having an ALIVE Makerspace, such as the summer crew clearing out the science room and student volunteers helping to sort and label bins of recyclables. It now offers tables or a lovely open area for building projects, as well as a whole array of interesting recyclables from which to choose during STEM activities. We hope that you will hear lots of STEM excitement coming from this room from now on. Thank You, Lord, for providing for us!

*Student volunteers Benjamin, Karis, and Martha sorted piles of recyclables into labeled bins to organize our Makerspace this summer.

*As part of his Boy Scout environmental project, former student Wesley Stocken recruited the 2nd/3rd graders to spearhead increased “reusing” throughout our school. Over the summer, he also trained 5th graders Brooke and Autumn to lead a biography puppet project that incorporates reusables in decorating the puppets.

*Wesley coached the 2nd/3rd on reusing and put his instruction into action by helping them create a giant Makerspace sign made with reused items.

*Here students are using the Makerspace for STEM marble run challenges.

Eyes Open for Engineering

Our class STEAM work helps us to notice cool engineering everywhere we look!  Here are three interesting ones I came across this week.  What have you seen in your summer adventures?  Hope you’ll comment!

An engineer friend from church lives next to Lake Sunapee and made friends on her walk “with a guy who was putting his gorgeous wooden steamboat in at the harbor. Then that guy offered us a ride! The boat, named the Sunapee Zephyr, is finished with cedar and the engine is wood-fueled. The sounds and smells were amazing! It’s way quieter than a typical motorized boat.”  Thank you, Emily, for sharing this!

Engineering helps us solve everyday problems.  One problem my parents have, living next door to a farm, has been the manure spreaders splashing liquid manure on their road as they go back and forth to the fields with each load.  This week when I drove by the field, I noticed the tractors now are attached to the tank back at the barn with a gigantic hose!  It looks like a huge umbilical cord that allows them to spread all the manure without ever transporting the manure.  I looked it up online, and they make hoses up to five miles long for the giant farms out west.  Sounds silly, but try having a picnic when your whole neighborhood smells and you’ll realize how genius this is.

We are redoing our barn roof, and we didn’t want to squash our flower beds.  Look at this nifty shingle slide.  We use our problem solving skills every day in life.

So what engineering have you spotted?

Giving Engineering?

There is joy in serving Jesus!  Our theme of the week needs to be lived out in actions, so we looked around for a way we could serve someone.  As our morning meeting activity, teams brainstormed engineering challenges to bless our first graders, who have the most fabulous building area in their room.  Then the teams filled a bag with all the supplies needed for each challenge.

Shhh . . . we are secretly dropping off the mystery engineering bags every few days.  (For example, use these supplies to build the tallest thing you can.  Create something with wheels using these supplies.  Design your own robot to add to your building area.)  We can’t wait to see what they think as they try our challenges!