Saturday, February 25, 2012

Maury Engineers!

Maury students have taken the role of Engineers in the past few weeks, culminating with multiple events this week and "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" activities and guest speakers, the students at Maury have truly become young Engineers!

All classes have learned about and utilized the Engineer Design Process.

The motto, "Enginneers Turn Dreams into Reality" is especially relevent to the Maury students in grades K-2 because  their designs WILL become reality! As you may be aware, we have a variety of grants to support a Schoolyard Improvment plan to completely revamp our "ocean of asphalt" in the back and create amazing oportunities for students at recess and for outdoor classroom space.

While a team of Maury staff have been working to develope what we would like to see, it was important for us to hear from your children. In Think Tank, K-2 students used the Engineer Design Process to share their dreams for our new space. Their designs, along with blueprints for the new space are in the front lobby for all to see.  In addition, students in Ms. Scott and Ms. Hanni's class built models of their designs to bring their ideas even more to life!

Through the process, students have truly dreampt up some wonderful additions to our outdoors space... that we can actually use! How thrilling for our students!

Engineer Week was not only a time for playground design but each grade level completed Engineering challenges or had special guest speakers.

PreSchool and PreK students used the " build, test and evaluate, redesign" portion of the process to sink boats and determine which objects would float or sink.

3rd Graders had an exciting visit from Erik Donald, an Electrical Engineer who works with the Navy and Nasa to build satalites. Students had incredible questions and were excited to touch REAL materials used in space. If you havea 3rd grader, make sure to ask them about this great presenation!

Interested 3rd, 4th and 5th graders became "Lunchtime Engineers" choosing to spend their lunch period learning from Liz Twozag, a Navy engineer who works on weather satalites.

Stay tuned for more soon!
-Mrs. Ford

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What do Magical Water Play, Magnificent Catapults, Hidden Graphed Pictures and the International Space Station have in common?

They are all being used as Think Tank studies! As the interests of different classes continue to develop, so do the diverse array of Think Tank Challenges. In many classes, we are wrapping up our study of simple machines using Legos (for now!) and transfering our knowledge to challenges using the same concept. For example, 3rd -5th grade students used the Scientific Method to determine which catapult would send Lego Mrs. Ford the farthest. Would it be C1 or C2?

They then recorded data, drew conclusion and then used their conclusions to design their own catapult based on a "dessert island scenerio". 

Meanwhile, Pre-School and Pre-K students are studying water. In Think Tank, these students are conducting science experiments using different markers. First students write a "secret message" ( aka their name" in permenant marker.

Then, they cover their writing completely with a regular (water soluble) marker. From there they made predictions about what would happen when their work was placed in water. Would the message reappear? What would happen to the water? Why did some marker stay on the paper and other marker wash away? Why do they think their parents don't want them coloring every day with permanent makers now that they have experimented with them? Check out their experiment results on the hallway bulliten board soon!

Finally, K-1 classes are using their math, picture and people smarts as well as the Habit of Mind "Work collaboratively as a group and inspire teamwork" to complete a hidden picture graph. Using coordinates is new to many in this age group but they have done a wonderful job supporting eachother and coming up with strategies to make sure their work is accurate and precise!