Randy's STEAM lab received a grant that will allow the 6th grade students to learn about “Pneumatics and Hydraulics: Harnessing the Power.” Students will discover the differences between these two technologies, and will be able to distinguish when one system would be used over the other. Students will work with "Fischertechnik Pneumatic 3" kits and teacher built hydraulic models. Essential learning will focus on experiments with fluid pressure, an introduction to a simple formula for calculating pressure (P=F/A), and taking measurements using appropriate units for fluid pressure. Students will be encouraged to dig deeper by analyzing the parts that make up the two systems, think critically as to how these systems achieve work, and use this knowledge to build working pneumatic and hydraulic models that solve a problem.
Bob's 7th and 8th grade Think Lab groups received a grant that will allow them to design and build boats out of one sheet of plywood. Since the beginning of the school year the students have been exploring why boats float and how the volume of displacement determines the weight that a boat will hold. They have constructed boats out of clay and heavy stock paper ‘waterproofed’ with duct tape. From this exploration the students have asked if they can actually build boats. After some some mathematical and online research, the groups determined that a boat built out of one sheet of plywood could float comfortably with a 200 pound person in it. Students will be able to build a workable small boat and then use that boat to study the displacement weight of the water. Based on their calculations, they will be able to determine where to place the water line on the hull. This hands on project will allow the students to begin with design, build a small boat, and then test their calculations on something that they can enjoy using once the project is complete.
Congratulations to Randy, Bob, and their students!