Saving Fred… our first STEM activity of the year!
Last Friday, 2nd graders were given their first STEM challenge. Before we began our activity, we discussed what the acronym STEM stood for…. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I was impressed at the number of students who already knew what all four letters stood for and represented. What they didn’t know is that the T can have a second meaning… Teamwork!!!
After dividing up into small teams, each group was given one gummy life saver, one clear cup, four paper clips, and one very cute gummy worm named Fred! After hearing about Fred’s tragic boat accident, where the life saver was trapped under the capsized boat, the 2nd graders worked as a team to get Fred safely back into his life saver.
Each group worked in their own way to first retrieve the life saver and then to work Fred safely back into his flotation device. There were many failed attempts, but each group continued to work at it, talking to each other, testing new ideas and strategies. In the end, Fred was rescued by every group at least once.
What I found most impressive, however, is that when the group completed the initial task, we added additional challenges. Instead of complaining or giving up, each group embraced the new challenge, adjusted their strategies, and once again, worked as a team to save Fred!
With the addition of the new STEM lab, I look forward to having so many more opportunities to give our kids the chance to apply those science and math skills, to try out new forms of technology, and especially to work as a TEAM!!