Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Innovators/6 The Restless Earth

The planet that we live on is an active one.  The ground shakes and moves with a force that appears to denote life.  Our Earth is forever changing and because of this, life has evolved and flourished.  Our study of the Earth begins by looking deep inside and understanding the various layers of the Earth and how they complement each other.  The scale model that we are currently constructing highlights these layers and put into perspective the vast amount of material that is just below our feet.  Click on the link below to access a playlist created around our study of the Earth's interior.  Use the resources to explore, learn and gain important background knowledge that will assist you in the upcoming units of study.  Remember, we are looking to help to better understand our essential question: HOW DOES AN ACTIVE EARTH AFFECT THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE?

The Interior of the Earth Playlist

Thursday, October 8, 2015

STEM/7 Finding Patient Zero

There has been an outbreak of STEMITITIS in class today, and you are now charged with the task of finding out who the initial carrier (patient zero) is based on your observations and the data that you have collected.  This is based on the interaction of the classroom population.  It is important that you list in order the people that you have interacted with and the time of the interaction.  You must make a hypothesis as to who you believe patient zero is.  Remember, it is one of you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Innovators/6 Mapping and Modeling in 3D

In a globally connected world, knowing where you are seems to have easier than ever before.  Maps made of paper or canvas have all but been forgotten for everyday travel and use.  However the symbols, signs and geographic elements of maps and map making have not.  They have just become digitized.  Although the use of computers and GPS programs for mapping have made obtaining maps and directions relatively easy, understanding the art of map making is essential to appreciating the skills needed and the importance of  accuracy and precision.  Your mission was to create  six versions of a map to locate a predetermined object somewhere in the school. 

  • Version 1.0 Map the way to and from the destination.
  • Version 2.0 Map the way to and from the destination using landmarks only.
  • Version 3.0 Map the surroundings with out directions (a pat) to and from destination.
  • Version 4.0 Same as version 3.0 except add, scale, mapping key and keywords.
  • Version 5.0 Create a "turn by turn" (text based) map.
  • Version 6.0 3D Map detailing all aspects of the area being mapped (team final project).
Challenges abound throughout this project.  As a map maker (Cartographer), answer the following questions;

  • How did the different versions of the same map help or create challenges when creating you newer versions?
  • What challenges did you and your team face as you created your 3D version of your map?  Be sure to include examples and explanations to justify your answer.
  • How would you approach this assignment differently knowing what you know now based on your initial experience?  (Use examples and details to support your explanation)  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Innovators 6/7/8 October Nature Connection Assignments

The month of October carries on the fall season and is responsible for one of the most colorful months of the calendar year.  The beautiful colors of the changing trees as they move from their summer production towards their sleepy winter dormancy typifies fall.  The change is not only in the trees but in the air as well, the continued shortening of the days starts to bring about a nip to the air that beckons the need for additional layers of clothes.  The natural world is also in the state of change as animals both big and small are preparing for the upcoming winter months and the needs associated with winter survival.  Enjoys these days as bring about a natural color burst of wonder and excitement.

October's Nature Connection Assignments

  •  My Nature Notes pg 239 (2 a week for a total of 8)
  • Picture of the Month pg 241
  • Why do leaves turn colors? pgs 242-243 (Innovators 7 collect different color leaves)
  • Drawing Leaves pgs 244-245
  • Storing Food for Winter pg 252
  • Harvest Festival time pg 253 (read for understanding) 

Nature Connection Downloads 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Innovators 6/7/8 Little Bits Contest

Two free ways to get littleBits in your classroom or makerspace

September 17, 2015
At littleBits, our mission is to inspire the next generation of inventors by providing a 21st-century learning tool at the intersection of STEM/STEAM and the Maker Movement, and get it into the hands of as many educators as possible. And what better way to get it into your hands than by giving away a $2000 Workshop Set for your classroom?

The best part is that those of you who don’t walk away mega-winners are still likely to receive donations to put toward littleBits in your classroom. But how?! It’s because we’re running the contest through DonorsChoose.org, one of the greatest fundraising tools at an educator’s disposal.  Projects with a goal of $200 on the crowdsourcing platform have an 85% chance of getting funded.

Ready to enter? Here’s how to start getting the big bucks for littleBits:
  1. Come up with an awesome, amazing, inspirational classroom project or lesson plan that creatively incorporates littleBits and gets kids problem-solving, iterating, and building creatively.
  2. Submit the project on DonorsChoose.org between September 17th and October 22nd. If you’re new to the platform, we have some helpful tips for you toward the end of this post.
  3. Watch the donations start to roll in from benevolent citizens of the world as you await the judge’s decision on a winner.
  4. The judges will review all submissions and choose the most compelling project. Our judges include Mike Feinberg from KIPP, littleBits rockstar educator Tim Hammill, and Leah Gilliam from Mozilla HIVE Network NYC. Check out their bios below!
  5. We will contact you by November 1st to let you know if you’re the BIG WINNER of a littleBits Workshop Set for your classroom or makerspace.

New to DonorsChoose.org? No problem! Here are our top tips for launching your own crowdfunded littleBits campaign for your classroom.
  • Create a catchy and informative title.
  • Keep your project cost low – projects that cost less than $400 in materials are more likely to get funded.
  • Promote your project to friends, family, colleagues, and community members (such as local businesses) using the share tools on your project page (you’ll see email, Facebook, and other options) or through your public profile.
  • Speak from the heart, and help the reader picture the student experience that will take place.
  • Check over your project essay for spelling and grammar errors.

Here are some great projects to get you inspired to create your own:
1) Carroll County Public School District Media Center
2) Tulsa Independent School District
3) La Joya Independent School District
la joya texas

Innovators/8 Crash and Survive!

You and your companions have just survived a plane crash.  Unfortunately, the pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash.  It's mid-January, and you are in Northern Canada.  The daily temperature is 25 below zero and the night time temperature is 40 degrees below zero.  There is snow on the ground, and the countryside is wooded with several creeks criss-crossing the area.  The nearest town is 20 miles away.  You are dressed in what you wore to school today.  Your group managed to salvage the following items:

A ball of steel wool
A small ax
A flare gun w/three flares
Can of Crisco shortening
Newspaper (one per person)
Cigarette lighter (without fluid)
Extra shirt and pants for each survivor
20 x 20 ft piece of heavy-duty canvas
A sectional air map made of plastic
One quart of 100 proof whiskey
A compass
Family-sized chocolate bar (one per survivor)

As a group rank these items in order of importance for your group's survival.  Explain how each item could help you survive this challenge until yo are rescued. Your team MUST come to an agreement on the items in your list!  What additional challenges did you and your team face while conducting this simulation and how could this relate to any type of survival/disaster situation?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Innovators 8 Are You Ready...?

September is National Preparedness Month and what better way to stay informed than to plan and prepare for a possible disaster that could occur in our geographical region.  The importance of making a plan, having a kit and staying informed could be the difference of avoiding a unwanted stress in an already stressful situation.  It will be up to your team to focus on a particular disaster that could possibly affect the Delmarva region and develop a skeletal plan of action that could be modified by a family of four (children are of elementary age) that would aid in their survival during the the initial 72 hours (3 day) of the event.  You are required to complete the following tasks;

  • Develop a plan for a regional disaster
  • Recommend supplies needed for a 72 hour (3day) emergency kit
  • Suggestions how to stay informed
  • Engineer a personal B.O.B. (Bug out bag)
  • Signage that is relevant to the disaster that you are preparing for
  • An informational brochure on specific disaster including all of the above.
  • A 30-60 sec PSA on the importance of preparing for disaster    

Disaster Preparedness playlist