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WANTAGH ELEMENTARY STUDENTS STEAM AHEAD

Wantagh Elementary students in grades 3-5 have been improving their science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics skills, under the direction of Kaitlyn Humphrey.   

Built to specifications, teams of fifth grade students designed and created electromagnetic cranes and modified the arms of the cranes to work to their advantage for a super sort challenge. The assignment continued their studies of electromagnetism and taught critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creative thinking skills. During the Super Sort Challenge, the students were instructed to work in teams to pick up an assortment of objects, using the arm of the crane to pick up non-magnetic objects. The students then talked and wrote about what worked and what redesigns needed to be incorporated on their cranes.

Fourth grade students built Rube Goldberg machines, or simple machines, that ring a bell at the end of a task. The machines were to be no larger than 24” x 12” x 24” and had to include one lever, a pulley, an inclined plane and a wheel and axle. The machine also had to include a transfer of energy, forcing something to move and including one push and pull. After the students finished building their machines, they were instructed to make a model on paper, with labeling of the machine parts and forces and with arrows to denote direction. 

Using the engineering design process, third grade students designed prototypes to improve their desks. They first brainstormed some of the problems they deal with regularly concerning chairs and desks, picked one problem and justified its significance. They came up with multiple solutions and created a blueprint and a scale model of the prototype. After the prototypes were completed, the students created commercials using Flipgrid, allowing them to share their prototype with peers.