180 days of learning

180 days of learning

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Riverside Students participate in SLED activities from Purdue!

September 7, 2012 , ,

This summer, ten Riverside teachers spent two weeks at Purdue participating in SLED training.  SLED stands for Science Learning Through Engineering Design.  This is the second year Riverside has been involved in this training.  Plymouth Community School Corporation is just one of four districts in the state of Indiana that is participating in this project with Purdue in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Earlier this school year, students on the fifth grade Supernova Team worked on their first SLED activity.  The purpose of this activity was simply an introduction to the design process.  We began with the exploration of UV beads.  Students then created their own fair test investigations.  We  ended with a UV bead design challenge.  During this challenge, students were given task cards.  They had to identify the problem, the goal, and the user in the challenge.  The students were challenged to create a variety of UV sensors.  Some examples include:  sensors to detect when to reapply sunscreen, sensors to see if plants are receiving indirect or direct sunlight, and sensors to see if a UV protective bathing suit is still  protecting against UV rays.  Students created their own design and then collaborated with their small group to create a group design.  Once their designs were approved…they began building.  And…build they did.  It was AMAZING.  The conversations and collaboration that took place on just the seventh day of school was terrific.  The kids were so engaged, so excited, and so proud of their creations.  As students finished building their sensors, they were able to “name” them and create a way to advertise them.  Of course, they turned straight to the Macs to make iMovie commercials.  Again…the students were VERY engaged and the commercials were creative.  The first SLED design challenge was a huge SUCCESS!!   The students have been posting comments in a discussion on My Big Campus about the UV beads.  There is nothing better than to hear students saying how “AWESOME” learning can be!  We are set for our next design challenge in a week or two…this time creating a picnic table shade.  This challenge will test the students knowledge of sun and shadows- two of the three fifth grade earth science standards.  We love SLED!

Nikki Rumpler teaches 5th grade Science and Social Studies at Riverside Intermediate School.
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