NBCS' new10-week STEAM program introduces students into the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics in an integrated, hands-on way.
The units include:
Creating video game platforms—Each student demonstrates his game to the class on a projected screen. Then the students take turns playing each other’s game and provide constructive criticism.
Managing a world-tour of a rock band—Each student acts as the manager of a world touring rock band during its seven continent, eight show world tour. The goal is to be creative by choosing locations that would take the band the furthest with the smallest budget. This requires researching countries and cities to find ideal locations by using price comparing sites such as Kayak. By keeping an organized travel log of destinations and expenses, the students will be able to compete for the band that went the greatest distance with the smallest budget.
Applying Newton's Laws of Motion—After learning the Laws and understanding how they affect our everyday lives, the students will build a car that can safely carry an egg down a 1.5 meter ramp. Sounds easy enough, right!
The students must purchase materials to build the car within a limited budget. They will draw plans for their project (art), develop a strategy for building the car (engineering), buy the necessary materials within the budget(math) and test their car on the ramp (science).
Constructing moving scooter bots using common household items—Using a small kit and common household items, the students will build their own battery powered vibrating car. Although specific directions will be provided, each car will look and perform differently. Finally, using a class-constructed obstacle course, races will be held to determine the best and fastest bot.
Analyzing the pH of various substances—The teacher will introduce the concept of pH as a way to determine whether substances were either acids or bases. Then the class will test several substances such as egg whites, baking soda, lemon juice, iced tea, etc. They will use red cabbage as the indicator substance because the color of red cabbage varies greatly depending on the pH of the material being tested. Based on this information a color scale will be developed. Cool experiment for a science class, but this is STEAM, time to make it a challenge. The students will be given two images of a chameleon, one on paper treated with the red cabbage solution and one on plain paper. The students will create a colored design on the untreated paper and then using the pH concepts learned in class they will try to reproduce the color design on the “red cabbage paper.”
Over the next few weeks the students will focus on problem solving and laboratory skills while completing a color change challenge in which the students will put chemicals (harmless household substances) through a series of chemical reactions. This will enable them to identify “unknown” chemicals based on the reactions that occur.
In future STEAM units the students will:
Examining the characteristics of polymers—Various polymers will be used to create “bouncy balls.’ By varying the ingredients the balls will take on different colors and different degrees of bounce! Since this is STEAM---the students will compete to find the formula that produces the greatest bounce.
Exploring electric circuits—The students will examine the characteristics of electric circuits by building their own circuits to understand how they operate. Using labeled drawings the students will be asked to explain how their circuits operate.
NBCS amusement park rides--The unit concludes with a project involving many of the skills learned in the previous weeks as the students design working model amusement park rides.
Click below to see the ride in motion.