Authentic STEM Bins

Ditch the pencil & paper morning work; create STEM Bins to cultivate critical thinkers and little engineers!

Photo of Kathleen Hartsell
9 7

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Students learn and develop skills through play and discovery.  During Morning STEM Bins, my students will work collaboratively to create structures and use their imagination to create.  Pictures of real-life structures will be provided to use as a guide, or students may think outside the box to design something unique on their own! Through this free exploration time, I believe students may be the drivers of their own learning.

Check out my Google post for more "behind the scenes" insight and to help contribute ideas/comments!  https://docs.google.com/a/springbranchisd.com/document/d/1QFK7KFGEm37WCqI5yczKwpwGVDmawJaiPvMZSO85pyo/edit?usp=sharing


Link to video pitch: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1WH4XS7r4Zfbk1TX2NacVlqTVk

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Photo of Michelle Fontenot
Team

I love that a student presented your idea in the pitch video! It was clear that he understood and was excited about the new plan!

Photo of John Faig
Team

And you could push their thinking by giving them a "challenging" bin of supplies that make less than obvious how the items could be used to represent a concept.  Credit goes to the tv show chopped when they give the chefs a "difficult" basket.

Photo of Kathleen Hartsell
Team

Yes! Love it!

Photo of John Faig
Team

You could tie this to anything you are teaching or even a current event.

Photo of Kathleen Hartsell
Team

I didn't even think of that at first - thanks so much for your feedback John Faig !!  This would be a great way to incorporate more science and social studies!  And a literacy extension could be to write about their structure.  

Photo of Trever Reeh
Team

I like the fact that you give students time to be curious. It would be a good way to get students motivated and to school in the morning.

Photo of Kathleen Hartsell
Team

Hi Trever Reeh  - yes!  I agree that this could be an exciting motivator to get students to school in the morning.  Thanks for your support!

Photo of Maria Reza
Team

Kathleen,
I really like your idea! How much time do you give them? Are they able to present their work somehow? I know parents would love to see their work! I wonder if you can have a day where they can "Show and Tell" their creations. I am eager to hear more about this! :)

Photo of Kathleen Hartsell
Team

Hi Maria Reza - thanks so much for your feedback!  I am thinking about 15 minutes in the morning.. do you think that would be sufficient time for students to create?

I love how you mentioned involving parents. Maybe on Fridays (or once a month?) I could give them extended time so they can have more time to think through, plan, and design their structures.  Later in the day we could have a gallery walk or "Show and Tell" to present to parents and other grade levels??