At Extreme STEAM Science Kids, we believe that life-long learners are created when children are enchanted with science at a young age and are given the guidance to develop their natural curiosity. This year, our focus will be to participate in collecting data for actual scientific studies around the world as they help to monitor water systems, study ladybug populations, investigate migration patterns of butterflies, and experiment with space seeds. In each of our learning spaces, we allow students to provide the questions and help them to design experiences to practice the scientific process and learn the way scientists do; through experimentation, collection of real-world data and analysis of their results. In keeping with 4 major themes, we have built in the flexibility to cultivate the students wonders while giving them fun problems to solve with a team. This empowers children to know that their questions matter, and that they can make a difference in the world through thinking and doing. With a common vocabulary through each learning space, children will obtain a working knowledge of the concepts presented. Our inquiry-driven classes promote innovation, social skills and problem-solving in a fun environment while students learn the basics of the scientific process and design theory. We believe in preparing students for a dynamic world in which adaptable learning will be necessary for a rapidly changing world in need of global collaboration.
Our teachers will guide and reinforce the themed concepts using a common scientific vocabulary in each class. Children will come away from the first two weeks, themed “Under the Sea”, with a working knowledge of the water cycle and sea life. We will visit the Oyster Bay Waterfront to participate in seining to collect specimens for our Cave’s touch tank to add to last summer’s population. Students will study the many fish tanks in the Cave to help learn about fish adaptations and communities. In the science lab, Miss Layla will introduce the concept of osmosis and students will complete lab activities to demonstrate the idea. In our Robotics Playground, students will learn about robots that are used to keep the oceans clean while they program their robots to navigate pretend seascapes. In the Engineering Workshop, Doc Jeff will lead students in building and racing mini paddle boats. In the Digital Den, students will code games that emphasize buoyancy and sea life. Students will also discuss buoyancy and motion as they are challenged to keep Steve afloat in MineCraft water environments. They will even take virtual tours of ocean features and a water treatment plant. In the Art Studio, Miss Joy will have students create art to illustrate their knowledge of the sea.
During the second block themed “Land, Ho!” students will participate in the Lost Ladybug project in which they will study and collect data on ladybug populations in the area to report back to a real study about different types of ladybugs in America. We will use the Einstein tablets to help us document our findings. In our Science Lab, students will also plant for butterflies and caterpillars so that we can study their habits in our very own garden and habitats! We will explore the different characteristics of the rocks we find on our 15 acre campus and then create our own rock cycle using crayons. In the Engineering Workshop, we will create Rube Goldberg machines to help learn about energy exchange from highlands to lowlands. Students will build bee houses using the bamboo from our grounds as they learn about the importance of protecting bees. In the Robotics Lab, students will explore the innovative use of Robots in agriculture. They will then be challenged to program their robots to mimic the movements necessary to complete agricultural work. In the Digital Den, Miss LilyMae and I will lead students in virtual tours through geologic history and make a virtual fossil. Students will design and build virtual neighborhoods, farms and homes using MineCraft and Roblox Studios. We will also participate in the Coding for a Better Earth initiative. In the Art Studio, students will create artwork and sculptures to illustrate the learning objectives they have met. At the end of our second session, we will visit the grounds and museum at Heckscher Art Museum in Huntington, NY.
During block three our theme will be “Air, Air Everywhere!” in which students will learn the physics of flight through inquiry based lab work. Students will study bird adaptations and dissect a bird wing in the Science Lab and then move on to the Engineering Workshop where they will design and build a bird wing based on what they learned. Students will discover physics of light while experimenting with mirrors and prisms in the Rainbow Creation Challenge. Students will build a hovercraft and race their creations. They will explore the outdoors and discover and identify different types of clouds. In the Digital Den, students will participate in Journey North which utilizes students across the world to help collect, quantify, observe and report actual migration patterns of butterflies around the world. We will discuss how the collection of scientific data can help preserve biodiversity in a changing world. In the Robotics Lab students will learn about the use of robots to keep the air clean, and see how robotic wings might help wildlife. In the Digital Den, students will use virtual flight simulators and code games for flying. Students will “get their wings” in MineCraft and manipulate atmosphere interactives to learn about what makes Earth’s atmosphere so special. The masterpieces in the Art Studio will reflect ideas of flight. This block will culminate with a trip to the Cradle of Aviation: Air and Space Museum.
Our last block will be themed “Space Odyssey” and will focus mainly on designing and building our cardboard rocket-boats for the annual Regatta. Our boats will incorporate the students’ learning of the Universe, solar system, spectroscopy, star life-cycle.In the Science Lab, students will view excited gases in light boxes using equipment and techniques used by scientists to identify the elements in stars. Students may visit the local planetarium at the Discovery Center. In the Engineering Workshop, students will engineer a solar oven and participate in a constellation contest. In the Digital Den, students will take virtual field trips to other planets, navigate the stars in virtual planetariums and use apps on the Einstein Tablets to find stars’ location in the day time! Students will create space-scapes in MineCraft and code spaceship games with scratch and code academies. In the Art Studio, students will create artwork about space, the planets, and constellations using all of the knowledge gained in the other classes. Finally our last block will end with our annual Regatta in which our space themed boats will carry our aqua-astronauts across the finish line! We can’t wait to blast off with your children!