First Grade STEM Project #5

[Each week Ms. Darea’s first grade class has a STEM lesson that crosses the curriculum and lasts all week.  Here is what Ms. Darea had to say about Project #5]

For our STEM project this week we first filled in a graph of different bats’ wingspans.  We analyzed the graph and talked about how bats’ wingspans are measured.  In the graph, the wingspans were measured in inches so we talked about how this is a standard unit of measurement and how inches can be found on the rulers that we have in school.   We compared inches to centimeters and determined that inches were bigger. 

I used a bat from an activity that we did early in the week to demonstrate how to measure the wingspans from tip to tip in inches under the document camera.   Each child was secretly assigned a bat from the 6 listed on the graph.  They then had to make a bat with the correct wingspan to match what it said on the graph.  

I showed them how to measure out the number of inches by marking from the zero on the ruler to the number representing the length of the bat’s wingspan.  We also talked about where to start measuring with the ruler because many children thought they either had to start at 1 or at the end of the ruler.  I showed them how some rulers have their zero at the very end, but some have space between the end and the zero. 

So once this was discussed the children marked their bat’s wingspan and connected the marks like a rainbow and finished off drawing their bats.  They had to measure to make sure the wingspan was correct before they cut their bats out.   Once all the bats were cut out, we switched bats with another student.  The students then had to measure another student’s bat to figure out which bat they had made by comparing the measurement to the graph.  Pretty cool stuff.

Freaky Friday always follows STEM and this week was super fun.  We took the kids to The Outdoor Learning Center to make bat boxes!  Eighth grade science teacher Ms. Chris was our volunteer for the week.  She showed the kids a completed bat box, talked about bat boxes a bit, and then we divided the class into two groups.  Each child had several turns whacking the nails into the boxes. 

What an awesome wrap up to a batty week!