ST1.2: Students work independently and collaboratively in an inquiry-based learning environment that encourages finding creative solutions to authentic and complex problems
Self Assessment Score: 3
Students at Alice Drive Elementary work in an inquiry-based learning model. This model seamlessly incorporates the Engineering Design Process and allows students to work independently and collaboratively to research, solve problems and become immersed in content that is tied to real-world scenarios.
We are consistently strong throughout the school in teaching our students the Engineering Design Process and the 5 C’s of STEAM. We do this across disciplines and grade levels. We feel our weakness is in immersing our students in real world events. We will continue to work toward immersion in real world events as our focus instead of just including real world events in our learning.
Our 5th graders related their learning to real world events during Hurricane Dorian. They collaborated in groups and designed structures to withstand a hurricane simulation. After discussing topics like storm surge and architecture along the coast they then had the opportunity to test their structures.
During 4th grade’s study of Native Americans, students designed and made their own drums using the Engineering Design Process. This also tied into a science unit on sound and measurement in math. They reflected on their learning through the use of Flipgrid. (Teacher’s PowerPoint is visible here)
After reading the book Goldilocks and the Three Bears, first grade students used the Engineering Design Process to make a new chair for Goldilocks. They collaborated while using critical thinking skills to solve problems, redesign, and give Goldilocks her very own chair.
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) kits are used in the STEAM lab. All kindergarten through fifth grade students participate in STEAM lab once every 6 days. During this time they are engaged in solving real world problems using the Engineering Design Process. Each student has a STEAM journal used during this time to make observations, collect data, draw designs or just reflect on their learning.
(Roller coaster photo is linked to a video)
Students in Kindergarten have been studying characters and settings. After listening to the story Mrs. Wishy-Washy, they collaborated with each other about the character Mrs. Wishy-Washy. Students then put their creativity to the test and worked together to build a farm for Mrs. Wishy-Washy using blocks, Legos, and other building materials.