The time had come for our final S.T.E.A.M. Club meeting for this school year. I’m so sad for it to end, but also very excited to plan more for next year! Here’s some images from our last exploration into robotics & electronics!
Look for more in the fall!
This week was special to me. I felt like it was the furthest deviation from what I am comfortable teaching. I spent quite a lot of time researching electronics and circuits and programming this past year, yet only feel like I’ve “scratched” the surface.
I’ve always acknowledged that students will be more advanced than me at any new technology. I am not afraid of it. I welcome it. I accept that students have a stronger entry level knowledge of contemporary devices and play to their strengths. I love observing what that looks like in the S.T.E.A.M. Club setting. Sometimes students have “seen that before.” Other times they are able to easily apply their knowledge to new concepts. And yet, on the lucky occasion, I have found something they’ve never seen before! They attack these learning experiences with eager abandon.
This week’s stations were broken down into: Circuit stickers, Squishy circuits, Programming, and RC Robotics.
Students explored circuitry with: the Makey Makey (and bananas); Squishy Circuits (and conductive / insulating doughs); Snap Circuits Jr.; Cool Circuits (puzzle game); TinkerCrates (paper circuits and doodle bot); and made a light up greeting card with Chibitronics Circuit Stickers & the Electron Inks’ Circuit Scribe Pen.
Students also explored programming and RC robotics with: Scratch Jr. (animation software); Ozobots; AirHogs Helicopter & Atomosphere Axis; Sphero Ollie (with iPhones, Droids, and iPad mini); and made Bristlebots (motorized toothbrush robots)!
We decided that we were having so much fun learning about optics the first week that we wanted to spend more time at each station. So I extended the station time to about half an hour each. That means we only got to explore two stations instead of four. This week we got to explore the other two optics stations.
Magnification and Reflection: At this station, students experimented with lenses and mirrors. There were binoculars, telescopes, periscopes, microscopes, magnifying glasses and spy glasses. They got to make their own periscope!
“Eye” see you!
Illusions & Distortions: There were books and cards with hundreds of optical illusions for students to decipher at this station. There was also a 3-D mirascope, a pair of rainbow diffraction glasses, and a bee-eye teleidoscope. Students made drawings on special 3-D paper and got a pair of glasses to take with them!
The Ames Room
Animation: At this station, students experimented with “old time” animation machines. There were thaumatropes, zoetropes, praxinoscopes, phenakistoscopes, and flipbooks! Students selected which of these animation toys they would like to make and take.
Light & Color: And at this station, students experimented with flash lights, LEDs, fiber optics, color films, black lights, and glow paper. They got to make their own color spinner!
Next week students will pick a station to delve deeper into. Then we’ll move onto Construction & Destruction! Look for lots more to come!
I haven’t spent much time blogging this school year and there are some things that I wanted to share with you that I haven’t yet had the time to post. It’s because I’ve been researching, planning, and launching my Arts Education Collaborative Leadership Academy action plan. That action plan focuses on the development and implementation of a S.T.E.A.M. Club.
At our first S.T.E.A.M. Club meeting, we studied optics. I had set up four stations for students to rotate through: Magnification & Reflection, Light & Color, Illusions & Distortions, and Animation. We got so caught up in the activities that we decided to only explore two stations at the meeting, leaving the other two for next week.
Light & Color
Magnification & Reflection
Illusions & Distortions
We had so much fun learning about moving images, color mixing, and lenses. I can’t wait til next week!