STEM Friday: Stop Motion Animation

Incorporating the science and technology portion of STEM, students completed a capstone project for what we’ve learned in science this past week.

This Week’s Challenge

Using the materials provided in your mystery bags, create a stop motion animation video that explains the cause of Earth’s seasons and demonstrates the change of seasons.  You may use your science journal as a reference.

Below are the final products:

Team France*

Team England*

*Team France and Team England had a slight misconception in the change of seasons, but they realized their mistakes afterward.

Team America

Team Canada

It was challenge indeed, but they did not give up.  Given that this was their first encounter with stop motion animation, I would say they did a pretty good job!  Each team worked hard and well together, assigning jobs and sharing ideas.  I think the final products speak for themselves.  Great job, friends!

Sentence Challenge I


What’s going on in this picture?

Can you write an exciting sentence to go with this interesting photograph from Life Magazine?

Think of our mentor sentences each week.  Now, in the comments below, write a sentence to describe what is happening in the picture, remembering to include plenty of details.  Your sentence should tell a story.  Use as many descriptive adjectives and vivid verbs as possible to make your sentence captivating.

Get creative!  I’m looking forward to reading them!

*Sentence due on Thursday 1/21/16*

Stem Friday: The Marshmallow Challenge

This Week’s Challenge

The marshmallow challenge, sometimes called the spaghetti tower challenge, is quite popular. The task is simple, yet teaches a profound lesson and requires lots of teamwork: “in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.” (

Materials (per team)

  1. 20 sticks of spaghetti
  2. 1 yard of tape
  3. 1 yard of string
  4. 1 marshmallow
  5. 1 pair of scissors


  1. Build the tallest, freestanding (must stand on its own) structure
  2. The marshmallow must be on top of the tower
  3. You do not need to use all of the supplies
  4. You are free to break up the spaghetti, string, and tape
  5. You will not be given extra supplies
  6. You will have exactly 18 minutes
  7. After the 18 mins. are up, the tower must stand on its own to be measured
  8. The team with the tallest tower wins

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This proved to be a difficult task for everyone.  Most teams almost gave up!  Kionate summed it up best throughout the entire 18 minutes: “This is hard!”  However, I was so amazed with everyone’s efforts!  At the end of the challenge, only two towers were left standing.  Congratulations to Team England, building a tower with a height of 7.75 inches.  Team America came in second at 7 and 5/16 inches tall.



We will have to try this again after we’ve completed our geometry unit on 3D shapes.  Hopefully, we’ll see better results.

QR Code Fun

On Friday, we reviewed the concept of ballpark estimating using our brand new tablets!  Students worked in teams searching the school, hunting for thirty 2- and 3-digit addition task cards.  Once they found a task card, they were first to change the addends to close-but-easier numbers and make a ballpark estimate.  Then, they could use their tablets to scan the QR code to check if their ballpark estimate was close to the actual sum.




They had a blast! (Can you believe they wanted to do more?!)

How Plants Grow

Written by Grace and Olivia

We are growing cherry tomatoes. We are also growing bell peppers.  They already sprouted.  We are excited to see them grow!  It is really fun to watch them grow. They are getting lots of sunlight and water. The plants are getting very big.



We took pinto beans and cherry tomatoes and bell peppers home and it is fun.

STEM Friday: Unstacking Cups

This Week’s Challenge

Create a tool, using only the materials provided, that will allow your team to un-stack six cups.

Materials (per team)

  1. Six (6) plastics cup
  2. Five (5) pieces of string
  3. One (1) rubber band


  1. Design your tool using only the materials provided.
  2. Only the tool can touch the cups.
  3. Hands can only touch the string.
  4. Cups will be in the shape of a pyramid.  Un-stack the cups in one pile as fast as possible.

Congratulations to team Canada for being the first team to figure out how to make a tool using all the materials.  However, Team America improved upon it and were the first team to complete the challenge!

Great teamwork friends!