ST1.3: Students are empowered to personalize and self-direct their
STEM learning experiences supported by STEM educators who facilitate their
Bluffton Elementary approaches learning from the stance of teaching students from where they are, but gently push them to be more. In some classes, students are given an objective of what should be accomplished but not the “how” to do it. Students can approach the outline in a way that works for them. In gaming, for example, the teacher asks students to create a game with a certain number of features, but the final product could differ from a racing game to collecting flowers. The objective would be met either way. Further, teachers give students a variety of choices throughout the day to consider what they would like to work on for content. For example, students in two of our self-contained classes work through the TeachTown method. The students have a variety of tasks to complete, but they can decide what they would prefer to work on and when. With this unbeatable combination of personalization and self-direction, facilitated by the educators in our building, students are empowered to make learning their own. High levels of student engagement and teacher buy-in are natural byproducts of this empowerment.
Students in Mrs. Wardell’s resource classroom were challenged with creating their own backpacks. The project proposed that their parents had forgotten to get them one for school. The students had to meet the rubric outline for the creation.
Fourth grade students gained a better understanding of climate change by creating animations that would reflect “what would happen if”. Students created storyboards to outline the animation project prior to going into the lab setting. The students were allowed to design their animations to show what they believed would happen to the entire world if something changed in the environment. The students answered “if, then” statements that would correlate to programming language used for robotics and gaming.
Dash and Dot Exploration
Students in grades K – 3 complete a Dash and Dot Robotics challenge. The challenge was comprised of 6 missions that related to NASA activities for outer space. The students explored the various NASA “real world” jobs and how each plays a role in the required missions. The students discussed why these missions are important for earth.
Here are the instructions and layout for the missions:
Did you know that that NASA is home to some of the most advanced robots in the world? Robots help astronauts explore other worlds, fix space stations, and navigate to distant planets.
In your mission, you must use the Wonder app to complete the challenges in this video. Please refer to the challenge document for specific point values and setup instructions!
1:12 - Mission 1: Rocket Launch
4:24 - Mission 6: Sample Collection
1:48 - Mission 2: Space Station Dock
2:23 - Mission 3: Asteroid Belt
3:06 - Mission 4: Fly By
3:46 - Mission 5: Landing