Last Friday I got to visit the Northeast Hamilton 3rd grade class! They are starting to explore the app DIY – a place for kids to explore, make, create, design, build, draw – you get the picture. While the app is designed for parent/child use, we’re excited to combine it with STEM and Genius Hour lenses to give kids a change to explore things that are interesting to them, combined with hands-on, STEM-y (yes, I’m making that a word) activities.
In the future, the students will choose their own projects, but for the first experience, Mrs. Massman (their teacher) and I wanted to give them a chance to become familiar with the app and how it all works. Mrs. Massman also explained to the students that sometimes having so many choices can be overwhelming, so we talked through some of the categories as a class, and decided to do the first one together. She chose an activity where the kids would “chemically manufacture an object.” Sounds complex, but it was super fun – we combined styrofoam and acetone to make plastic!
The students made predictions and observations, took pictures and videos, and had great discussion about the breakdown of molecules and how a substance can change from one thing to another!
The next step is to document their findings and the process on their blogs (check this one out). I can’t wait to read what the students discovered and thought, and in the meantime, they’ll have a chance to make Oobleck for Seuss Week – another “Chemist” activity, which will bring them 2/3 of the way to their first DIY badge.