Well, here we are. The final week of STEAM for Block 2. This week the students delved deeper into what they felt were their strengths and what piqued their interest over the last 7 weeks.
The day began with one of the most random Design Challenges yet. After the students partnered up they found out what the task would be. Confused looks we all around as I said “I don’t know” and proceeded to generate each team’s task. They had 4 different categories: what to build, what it had to accomplish, where it was located, and what material was to be used. For example, there was a Sculpture that had to signal people on the moon using only pipe cleaners. No two were the same and each group had to amp up their creativity as they couldn’t use “competitive collaboration” in any of their designs. Once the builds were completed the students had to explain how the designs worked and how they met the criteria.
We followed up by reading the book “What Do You Do With an Idea”. This told the story of a young lad had an idea. He nurtured the idea and watched it grow, protected it from negativity, and finally saw it explode into something world-changing. We discussed what kind of world-changing ideas have arisen in the last 100 years, from the light bulb to the Internet.
For the remainder of the day, the students worked on the idea they came up with in their persuasive letter. First, they had to complete the Design Process, identifying what their idea was and giving criteria for how they would know it was complete. They had to plan with as much detail as possible based and were sent back to refine if the plan did not meet teacher criteria. Once the plan was approved, the students began their work. Some activities included using MakeDo to build a cardboard creation, continuing with building a mini-game in Minecraft Education, make a more intricate 3D design in Tinkercad, or even create a board game using Binary Notation!
At the end of the day, the students had to fill out an exit slip on the 4C’s and complete an evaluation of the STEAM program. Lastly, they had to complete a final reflection about their time at the STEAM program. They were encouraged to talk about what they felt they learned, about any difference from the first day to the last, and where they think their learnings could take them. It was incredible to see how their thoughts, feelings, and abilities evolved over the 8 weeks.