Tag Archives: information technology

Building water rocket launchers with @bendickraikes in 6th science at @The_School

@BenedickRaikes is the 6th grade science teacher at The School at Columbia University and an extraordinary colleague. He was inspired to build water rocket launchers this semester. In preparation for that, he purchased a book, Make: Rockets, and a Water Rocket Launcher kit from Maker Shed. (Update: these kits do not seem to be currently available…)

After assembling the kit’s prototype, Ben felt much better about asking 6th graders to build their own water rocket launchers as well. We purchased all of the parts using the supplies list from the book (also on the DIY project website). Most of the materials came from Lowe’s, and this process was made substantially easier as the book includes all of the parts numbers. Other bits and bobs were sourced from Amazon and the neighborhood hardware store.

Ben and I thought it would be fun if the students were to “place an order” at Lowe’s for the materials, so we shared the shopping list with them. Students were tasked with filling out a spreadsheet in math class that included space for them to insert an image of each part and an area for them to tally the cost of the project. See below:

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This week, 6th graders assembled their water rocket launchers using plans from Make Magazine: http://makezine.com/projects/water-rocket-launcher Students were divided into 4 groups of about 4-5 students. Each group had a faculty mentor at their table — 6th Grade Math Teacher Catherine Hildebrandt (@KKleinNYC), Math Associate Jazmin Sherwood, Intermediate Division Principal Kevin Fittinghoff, and me — which left Ben to float from group to group offering help and guidance. We had to saw PVC and wood, join pieces with epoxy or PVC primer and cement, assemble materials, work with drills, screwdrivers, utility knives, pliers, clamps, and more.

After two days of constructing rocket launchers, students were asked to fill out a self-reflection feedback sheet with the following questions:

  1. Did you enjoy the rocket launcher building project? Give reasons.
  2. What was your favorite part of the project?
  3. What did you find difficult or challenging?
  4. Did you learn anything new doing this activity?
  5. What are your thoughts about working in a group of 4 or 5 children?
  6. Would you be interested in doing a project like this again? What would you chose to build? (Realistic suggestions only please!)

Tomorrow students will have a soft launch (pun intended!) of their rockets. On Monday, the grade will gather together in the park for the official launch and to compare results.

After seeing my tweet about our project, Chris Casal (@Mr_Casal) shared a link to a wonderful video highlighting the work of Christine Boyer (@5boyer) and her 5th graders who launched rockets last year. Christine also provided a wonderful documentation of the project here, and she recently presented her class’s work at the National Science Teachers Assocation‘s annual conference!

LIFTOFF TO LEARNING from Ralph King, Hawkview Pictures on Vimeo.

 

 

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Photos from @UWCSEA_East’s libraries with @KimBeeman. Thanks @librarianedge & @barb_philip! #libchat

 

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Photos from @TaglinTrust’s libraries tour with @KimBeeman today! #Singapore #libchat #GlobalEd

I’m in Singapore for the weekend! I visited schools and libraries with Kim Beeman, Head of Libraries at Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok. Many thanks to Katie Day, Head of Library at UWCSEA East in Singapore for helping to coordinate our visits and hosting us!

After visiting Dulwich College Singapore and Singapore American School earlier in the day, our third school visit was at Tanglin Trust School. Suzanne Parfitt of the Upper School Library kindly toured us around her newly renovated and expanded space plus the Junior and Infant Libraries. In addition, Suzanne showed us the Staff Library (!) which is a lovely collaborative faculty room with tons of learning resources, a kitchen area, and windows. So important!

Tanglin is celebrating its 90th birthfay, and the library hose 90 books (one from each year of its existance) to highlight. Something I noticed and loved was that EVERY library we visited had a reading theater space which doubles as classroom performance space. Hard to achieve in a city school without oodles of available spaces spread about sprawling campuses but soooo valuable…

Check out Tanglin’s Infant Library’s story sacks! And the screen saver that the 6th grader sees when she logs onto the computer reminding her of the school’s Responsible Use Policy! Also, notice the beautiful new space offering flexible collaborative learning opportunities — it is furnished with Steelcase furniture, writeable surfaces, and maker materials — all in an area which was formally an open patio!

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Photos from @SAmericanSchool’s library tour with @KimBeeman today! #Singapore #libchat #GlobalEd

I’m in Singapore for the weekend! I visited schools and libraries with Kim Beeman, Head of Libraries at Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok. Many thanks to Katie Day , Head of Library at UWCSEA East in Singapore for helping to coordinate our visits and hosting us!

After leaving Dulwich College Singapore, Kim and I traveled to the Singapore American School for our second school visit of the day. We were overwhelmed by the sheer size of SAS! There were at least 6 gymnasiums, a slew of dance studios, an entire music wing, two Olympic-sized pools and another smaller pool, three libraries, multiple dining spaces, a bunch of collaborative teacher spaces, and possibly more than four theaters. Plus, all of the faculty and children were friendly, happy, and healthy-looking. It was a pretty ideal learning campus.

We started our visit in the Middle School Library with Ron Starker and Doug Tindall. The space is divided mostly in half with a quiet side and a collaborative side. The quiet side has lovely spaces, dubbed “caves” with lounge chairs and walls of bookshelves that still enable open views for adult supervision. The collaborative side has thoughtfully curated spaces that embody Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences. The bodily-kinesthetic space has treadmills and seats with pedals! There’s a digital music studio with instruments and voice-recording space for the musical-rhthymically inclined. There are 3D printers and Wacom tablets to represent the visual-spatial and logical-mathematical intelligences. And there was so much more! Another awesome thing is that the librarians and educational technology coaches are all in the library space together. Yay for more opportunities to collaborate!

Kate Brundage then met us and took us on a whirlwind tour of much of the campus including the revamped Upper School Library with its work-in-progress Maker Space and the Lower and Middle School libraries. Kim and I totally got our cardio for the day trying to keep up with Kate as she led is around. She oversees so many books and collections and has made remarkable choices about organizing, stocking, promoting, and collaborating.

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