Friday, March 27, 2020

Math Art STEAM Activities

Looking for a STEAM activity to do?

I recently found a great site called What Do We Do All Day?

It has ALL kinds of activities for kids from toddlers to teens.

My favorite are the Math Art activities.  
In these activities children (and adults) can create artistic pieces using math concepts.

One activity is called Pi Skyline.
For this activity you only need graph paper and something with which to color.  Kids graph the digits of pi in order to create the skyline.  This is also a great counting and graphing activity for kids too young to understand pi.

Another Math Art activity for older kids is Spirolaterals.

Pi Skyline with Spirolateral (4) Sun

Still need more STEAM activities?  
Try these other websites and activities.

How to Make a DaVinci Bridge
Emoji Traupes

Red Ted Art
Origami Boomerang
Paper Helicopters

Raising DaVinci (Youtube Channel)
10 Candy Science Experiments
10 Easy Rainbow Science Activities

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Rube Goldberg Contraption Challenge

A Great Way to Spend Spring Break

The Middle School students had a great time designing and building a Rube Goldberg contraption last year so when I saw this challenge I thought it would be perfect to pass along to our families.  

Rube Goldberg was an engineer who became a cartoonist and his cartoons often included complicated contraptions to do simple tasks.
Self Operating Napkin Contraption

The contraptions used every day items found around the house making them perfect for this Spring Break.

The link in the graphic above does not work.  Here is the video.

You can find more videos at Rube Tube

You can also build virtual contraptions with the Rube Works App.

If you build a contraption (to enter or just for fun) please email me a picture or a video.  I would love to see them.  Have fun! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Advanced Opportunities

Grade 6 Arduino Project

One of the opportunities for students in the STEAM Lab is that they have access to the CLS high school materials and curriculum.  Grade 6 students explore high school challenges with the Arduino processor and breadboard.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Exploring the Makerspace

Make This/Tinker That
With Grades 3 and 4

Yesterday Grade 3 and Grade 4 students who were not attending the choir trip had the opportunity to explore and create in the "Make This/Tinker That" HCA Makerspace.

This space (new this year) is located in the cafeteria. 

It is a resource not only for the Innovation Lab projects 
but also for HCA Plus, indoor recess, and classroom teachers. 

Students are able to build with cardboard construction tools (Makedo), create paper circuits, complete a LEGO challenge, make a nut and bolt sculpture or something of their own creation.

Friday, December 6, 2019


Creating A SMART Goal

In the Innovation Lab, Middle School students create SMART goals before starting any project. 

What is a SMART goal?  A SMART goal is a goal which is specific, measurable, achievable, relevalnt and time-bound.  Below are the definitions of each of these components as provided in the Innovation Lab Launchpad.

1. Specific

Your goal should be clear and specific. When writing your goal think about who, what, and why. 
  • Who is involved?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?

Source: Pixabay2. Measurable

It's important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal. What are smaller steps you can take to reach your goal and how do you know when you are done?

A measurable goal should address questions such as: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

3. Achievable

Your goal also needs to be realistic and achievable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. 
An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:
  • How can I accomplish this goal?
  • How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors, man power, schedule demands, and other responsibilities?

4. Relevant

This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it's important to have control over them. So, make sure that your plans drive everyone forward, but that you're still responsible for achieving your own goal.
A relevant goal can answer "yes" to these questions:
  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Does this support our other goals?
  • Does this honor my other personal goals?

5. Time-bound

Source: Pixabay

Every goal needs a target due date so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal helps to make sure you meet your longer-term goals.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
  • When is it due?
  • What can I do today?
  • How can I work towards this goal in smaller chunks? How should I prioritize? What should I do first, next, last? 

SMART goals can be justed in other situations and on other projects.  

Practice making a SMART goal with your child for your weekend plans?  What would you like to accomplish as a family this weekend?