A Year in STEAM

At the start of this school year students learned about the invention, history and
STEAM aspects of paper and papermaking, including historical and modern making
processes and uses/applications. They then created their own handmade paper to be
used as the covers on STEAM observation and reflection journals. The STEAM journals
will be used throughout the year to record our data and findings from other STEAM
Lessons! During the month of November students created a paper roll turkey to
camouflage for hiding in the school woods. As a whole school students went out into the
school woods to try and locate each other's turkeys.
December saw us learning about snow: Water in its different states, geometrical
shapes it takes and aerodynamics of fast and slow falling snow. We looked closely at
Wilson Bentley’s snowflake photographs, a wonderful example of a Vermonter's
contribution to the sciences and the art. We also read the books, Snowflake Bentley by
Jacquiline Briggs Martin and The Story of Snow, the science of winters’ wonder by Mark
Cassino and watched a snow crystal being formed in a lab! We then created paper
snowflakes to race, to see whose was the fastest to the ground and whose was the
In January we continued our snow theme, in which groups of two students
created snow scoops! Students were challenged to create a snow scoop that could hold
both a large amount of popcorn kernels and also hold the most small styrofoam balls.
The students were given 2 index cards, 2 straws, 4 popsicle sticks, 2 chenille stems and
tape. Students in third through sixth grade graphed the data that they collected and
turned it into posters. The data was then displayed at an all school meeting where we got
to see the whole school's snow scoops. It was amazing to see the different designs they
came up with!
April had us exploring the potential energy and kinetic energy of folded paper
airplanes. Once we had folded our paper airplanes we took them to the gym to fly! We
measured the distance our planes flew. Then students started adding weight to our plane
by adding 5 pennies to each flight to see how much distance they could get while
carrying weight. One plane flew all the way across the gym and into the wall!!