Science Technology Engineering Math

Waterman Elementary School piloted Design Based Learning projects at each grade level in the 2011-2012 school year. In an effort to increase advanced learning opportunities for everyone lessons were developed that encourage students to work together to solve problems by conducting research, designing and evaluating products, and sharing information with each other through oral presentations.

We found students highly engaged in analyzing problems, designing solutions, and evaluating the effectiveness of these solutions. Throughout the process they communicated with classmates as they shared ideas, compared data, and presented information to others.

Teachers received training to learn about the design process and met with the Enrichment Specialist regularly to plan for upcoming lessons. Following each unit we evaluated the success of our students. During the first year of this program we noticed a high level of student engagement during I-STEM lessons. As we begin year two we will focus on new ways to enhance learning through the use of technology, assessment of student learning, and communication with parents about the units being taught each quarter.

Lesson Topics - First 9 Weeks

Lesson topics for the first nine weeks include:

Kindergarten - Bubble, Bubbles- after problem solving ways to share one bubble wand with several classmates students will design and test their own bubble wand.

1st Grade - Mystery Beads - will encourage students to explore ways the sun can help us or hurt us. Each student will design a cover to protect UV beads on a bracelet to keep from changing colors when worn outdoors.

2nd Grade - Wiggling Worms - students will learn about the importance of worms and design habitats to keep their wiggling worms happy.

3rd Grade - Build a Beak - students will research how different types of beaks help birds consume the food they eat. They will collect data and create graphs as they share information. Each student will construct a bird beak and assess its effectiveness in capturing prey.

4th Grade - Wacky Weather - students will be learning about weather and weather instruments in science during the first nine weeks of school. Following this unit of study students will design and build a structure that must withstand severe weather. This unit will require students to apply what they have learned about weather as they predict simulated weather forecasts.

Recyclable materials will be needed for these projects. We are currently in need of

  • cereal boxes (please flattened)
  • empty two-liter soda bottles (please wash and remove label)
  • small matchbox type cars and wheeled toys

If you have materials to donate please send them to school with your child.

Lesson Topics - Second 9 Weeks


Lesson topics for the second nine weeks include:

Kindergarten - Build a Letter- after reading Albert's Alphabet by Leslie Tryon, each student designed and created a letter that would stand up by itself for our Alphabet Parade.  Kindergarten students escorted  a preschooler or book buddy classmate through the alphabet as he/she shared names of letters, sounds letters make, and words that start with each letter.

 1st Grade - Solving Dissolving - Students participated in experiments to determine which materials dissolve in water.  Students worked in small groups to design and build habitats for aquatic snails using materials that would not dissolve and would be healthy for the snails.

2nd Grade - Keep It Cool - Students tested materials to determine which make good insulators.  Each student designed and created a container to keep an ice pop from melting for a predetermined amount of time. After testing their containers each student was invited to eat or drink his/her ice pop.

3rd Grade - Sail Away - Students observed several wind experiments and conducted tests to review floating and sinking. Teams designed and built sailboats to test on a rain gutter river.  Data was collected and reviewed.  Top vessels from each class were entered into the Waterman Regatta for opportunity to earn medals and a class trohphy.

4th Grade - 3-2-1-Blast Off - Students worked in small groups to design and build rockets to launch on zip lines through classroom solar systems as they learned about force and motion. 

Lesson Topics - 3rd Nine Weeks

Lesson topics for the second nine weeks include:

Kindergarten - Ramp and Roll- Students will design and build roadways that include criteria such as going up and over a hill.

1st Grade - Puppy Power - Students will make dog treats to share with the local SPCA and design containers to transport the treats.

2nd Grade - Magnificient Magnetic Race Cars - Students will design and build magnetic race cars that they move by attracting or repelling around a track.

3rd Grade - Read All About It - Cycles Everywhere - Students work together to create a newspaper that features the cycles they learn about in content classes.

4th Grade - Electifying Elevators - Students work in teams to design and build an elevator with a working motor.


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