STEM Friday: Saving Sam!

This is our traditional beginning-of-year STEM Friday activity: Saving Sam! This activity not only promotes teamwork, but requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This Week’s Challenge

Use the materials provided to put life jacket on Sam, the gummy worm, without him falling into the water.

Materials (per partner/group)

  1. One gummy worm
  2. One gummy lifesaver
  3. One clear, plastic cup
  4. Large paper clips (2-3)


  1. Students will be in pairs.
  2. Students may NOT touch “Sam,” the “life jacket,” or the “boat.”
  3. Students may only touch the paper clips. They are allowed to bend them.
  4. Students are NOT to poke “Sam” with the paper clips.
  5. Set up: Place gummy lifesaver under cup (the cup is flipped over) and place gummy worm on top.
  6. The goal: Students want to get the “life jacket” from under the “boat” and onto him using only the paperclips.

For our very first cooperative learning activity, teams worked really well together sharing ideas and not giving up.  Dylan and Maddie were the first to figure out how to get the life jacket on Sam, but struggled with actually getting him in.  After many unsuccessful trials, I decided to make it a little easier by letting the pairs work in table groups and giving the groups 2 more paperclips.  This was the result:


Great job, friends!

Final Harvest

Wow! So much produce! The carrots grew beautifully and the radishes grew even bigger than last time. The lettuce and spinach flourished beyond expectations.

Poetry Slam 2018

Last Friday, we held our poetry reading honoring Shel Silverstein.  Students had to memorize and recite a poem by the famous poet.  It was a huge success! Everyone did a wonderful job and I am so proud of all the hard work they put into their presentations.

'Shel'-ebrating Poetry Flyer


A special thank you to the parents that came out and gave us an authentic audience for a memorable lesson.  We appreciated your presence.  If you were not able to make it, check out the video below.

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Great job, friends!  I’m so proud of you guys!


Written by Lucas and Ethan

Yesterday, we saw our radishes.  Today, we ate them.  They tasted so bad without the crackers and cheese.  We ate them with the crackers and cheese and they were heaven!

We planted them 2 weeks ago.  Wow!


We also planted carrots, lettuce, and spinach.  They are doing so good!

STEM Friday: Solar-Powered Ovens

After learning about heat energy, students practiced following step-by-step directions to build an solar-powered oven to investigate how we can use heat energy to cook food.

Students built ovens out of pizza boxes and set them outside to attract light and heat from the sun to “bake” s’mores and pizza.




Fun Planting Time

Written by Maya and Elise

My class is planting some things for the end of the school year so we can have a class party with our veggies.

We found a planting spot and we started to grow lettuce and spinach for our class.  We added the soil and lots of water in a sunny spot.  We will also plant carrots and radishes.

Most of the class planted seeds.  Lots of them!  We can’t wait for our veggies to grow!