For the past 4 weeks, the Year 2 students have been undertaking STEM investigations each week.
What is STEM? STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Each task integrates these 4 areas of the curriculum.
Pre-Test: The students in Year 2 had to draw and list features for each of the 4 fields. They then had 2 presentations from each expert in their field. At the end of the unit of work, the students will revisit their initial drawings and vocabulary to see if their knowledge about each area had improved.
Science – Vanessa Reali (Scientist)
Technology – Meredith Martell (Library Technician)
Engineering – Grant Symons (Telecommunications Engineer)
Mathematics – Duncan Symons (University of Melbourne Lecturer in Mathematics and Science)
Investigation 1: Making an Action Toy
Students looked at samples of toys that moved due to a push or a pull. Students were allowed to use split pins, card and scrap materials to design and make an action toy. There had to be a labelled diagram included in the design brief and reasons as to why the materials were chosen. Students were able to identify the push and pull features in the toy.
Investigation 2: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch
Each grade read “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch” by Rhonda and David Armitage and then brainstormed all of the ways they could transport the lunch safely across to the lighthouse keeper via land, water or air. The class divided up into collaborative groups and then designed and drew their method of getting the lunch to the keeper. Each group then built their design, set the finished product up and tested it. *Tests were from one chair to another chair about 1m apart. Students reflected on their designs and discussed what worked well and what they could have done to improve it.
Investigation 3: Marble Run
The students had to design a marble run that was exactly 3 meters long and that took exactly 20 seconds from start to finish. This proved to be a challenge! Students used the inner cardboard tube from glad wrap/aluminium foil and masking tape to construct their marble runs. They had to measure their marble runs using measuring tapes and time them to see how long it took them from the start to the end. The most effective marble run was 3 m long and took 10 seconds to complete.