“You are stranded on an island and need to build a shelter to protect you from the weather,” was the first direction given to Pieter B. students in grades 2-5 during their annual STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) Day. Students then broke into groups, working together to solve challenges based around the island theme.
Each group was given specific materials to use to reach their final challenge goal, which simulated the limited resources of an island. The tasks required collaboration, critical and creative thinking, and hands-on practical building.
After building the structures, the testing phase began. If a structure passed, the group moved on. If the structure failed, the group needed to reevaluate and rework their project.
Students in kindergarten and first grade build models of an island and volcano complete with sea and land animals, mountains, sand and trees.
Overall, the day was a success said Pieter B. Coeymans RtI Math/Curriculum Content Specialist Tony Linter.
“”It was awesome,” he said. The students created models and structures that “were better than I could have imagined.”