Alright, let’s talk about Collaboration.
In the meantime it makes the kids work together to make decisions. And I often send them back to the “drawing board”. When I have a group that asks for a large amount of anything- regardless of its cost- I ask them to revisit their design plan and make sure they need 15 cups or foam pieces or whatever. That is also such an interesting conversation to eavesdrop on!
STEM forces this! As I said, this is a learning experience. We have gone through quite a bit of talking to help all students understand their duties to a group and how to work even when you don’t like your group. (That’s real life, too!) The great thing is this: The more STEM you do, the better it will get!
Here’s a few of my favorite moments!
This is in the middle of a presentation for a challenge in which each group had to design a box for a food delivery company. The box had to keep the food hot and had to be crush proof. The food delivery company had to have advertising- which included posters and a television commercial. For this major project I put fifth graders into groups of 8-9 kids! Yep, 8-9! But here’s the reason: a small group worked on the delivery box. They had to build it and test it. Another group was the poster team. Another small group was the TV commercial team.
All three teams had to work together. The box design team had to relay messages to the ad teams about what the box looked like. The poster team had to work with the TV team to get the slogan just right. All team members were in the TV commercial and had to rehearse together.
Now, back to the photo.
One team asked if they could make costumes. I said they could as long as it was simple supplies. They used cardboard and packing fluffy stuff and made masks. In the photo you can see a lion (on the floor) and an elephant (standing). In the poster you see the words Potato Potato—now sing that to the tune of Hakuna Matata…..
It was the best kid commercial ever! They had an entire song written using the Hakuna Matata tune and it was all about their baked potato food company. All team members were disguised as a jungle animal. They had props, dancing, singing, and it was just so fun!
Kids will amaze you with their creativity, their thinking, and the way they can work together.
Have I convinced you to try a STEM challenge yet?
Next week in this summer STEM series: The Science!