STEM Friday: Mini Mayflower

I know, I know, it’s not Friday.

This Week’s Challenge

For our Thanksgiving-themed challenge, students had to plan, design, and build a mini “Mayflower” ship to float and hold the weight of 100 pebbles (representing the 100 people that traveled on the Mayflower) using only the materials provided.

Materials (per team)

  1. 5 sheets of aluminum foil
  2. 2 small dixie cups
  3. 10 popsicle sticks
  4. 10 straws
  5. 5 rubberbands
  6. tape (1 meter)
  7. 1 pair of scissors


  1. Build a boat that must float and be able to withstand the weight of at least 100 pebbles.
  2. You do not have to use all of the materials.
  3. Materials will not be replaced.

After designing and building their boats, it was time to test them!  All of the boats floated, but the real challenge was seeing if the boats could withstand weight.



The winner was Indian Ocean’s design, holding a whopping 43 pebbles! Great job, Indian Ocean!


Indian Ocean: 43
Atlantic Ocean: 31
Pacific Ocean: 2
Arctic Ocean: 10

The Great Field Trip!

Written by Summer, Alex, and Aanya

Have you ever petted a rhino before?  If you have, you might have been scared!  Some rhinos are nice and some are mean!  Yesterday, we went to White Oak Conservation to visit and learn about our animal of the year. First, we visited the Indian rhinos.  Then, the Black rhinos.  And then, the White rhinos.  We can tell the difference between the rhinos by their mouths.  The White rhinos were the most curious and let us pet them.  They were smelly and felt rough.

After the rhino tour, we went see giraffes, gazelles, and cheetahs.


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It was so much fun!



Class Election 2016: Part 2

Today, the candidates gave their last speeches to win the crowd and sway some voters. Disney Party even brought in treats and “Vote for Anaya” stickers for their “constituents.”



Check out the video below:

Great job, friends and good luck on Election Day!

Now, comes the hard part: waiting!  On Tuesday, November 8th, all second graders will vote for our very first class president!  Who will it be?

Class Election 2016: Part 1

With the 2016 presidential election upon us, we began our social studies unit this week by talking about the election process.  To provide an authentic experience and using information from Scholastic (, students not only got to read about the election, but were involved in the process.  They were the producers, directors, and actors in our mock presidential election.

It started with the class voting for two parties and picking in which party they what to be.  The teams worked together to come up with a platform on the main issues they wanted to change in the classroom.


After combining the beginning of campaigns, debates, primaries, and two mini conventions, each party officially chose one candidate for president and one candidate for vice president.  Now, the race was on!  Students began campaigning even harder by sharing about their respective party with other second grade students.  They created ads and helped other students register to vote.

Then, came the presidential debate.  The Science and Disney presidential candidates, along with their vice presidential candidates, went head-to-head answering tough questions about real issues in our classroom.  Our four moderators, Aanya, Alex, Summer, and Megan, came up with the questions themselves and did an excellent job facilitating discussion during the debate.

Such professionalism!  You be the judge–who won that debate?!