Which shape is more stable, a triangle or a square? Our 4th grade students learned which shape had greater stability between a triangle and a square. They made predictions, created their shapes from straws then tested their predictions to learn which shape had the greatest stability. We discussed how that shape would be used in large structures and then used the triangle, to build geodesic domes using toothpicks and gumdrops/marshmallows.
*We learned that the triangle was the more stable shape which was surprising because we thought the square would be more stable because it's bigger and has a flatter surface. - Aiden, Isabelle, and Santiago, Fred Douglas
* We learned that the angles of triangles support the force of the weight better than the square did. - Justin, Kiera, and Jacky, Fred Douglas
* We predicted that the square would be more stable because we thought the triangle would be weaker. We learned that the triangle was actually more stable because it could evenly put weight on two sides. - Lucas and Malaya, Joe Wright
* We predicted that the triangle would be more stable and learned that it was more stable because the weight was the two sides held up to the pressure. - Arii and Erick, West Side
* Making the geodesic domes was very challenging but it was also fun and we got to eat the materials when we were finished! - Isaiah and Kaylee, West Side
A bridge must support its own weight as well as the weight of anything placed on it. Our fourth graders made two types of bridges. A paper bridge which they created with only one sheet of paper, 5 paper clips and 2 blocks of wood and then tested its stability. They also created a beam bridge (then transformed it into a suspension bridge) using straws, tape, paper clips, and a paper cup. Their engineering skills and creativity were evident with these challenges!
* I enjoyed this challenge. The beam bridge was the harder of the two bridges to make. - Citlali, Fred Douglas
* I learned that you have to support the bridge in order for it to be stable. - Justin, Fred Douglas
* I learned that a flying buttress is a large stone arm that holds the weight of the building in a skyscraper. - Jacky, Fred Douglas
* I learned that suspension bridges can span up to 7,000 feet long. - Malaya, Joe Wright
* I learned that the U.S. Capital dome was made out of iron. - Aiden, Fred Douglas
* Did you know that the Skydome includes a hotel and has a greenhouse? - Abdiel, Joe Wright
* Arches are what give bridges their strength. - Kendall, Fred Douglas
* The Empire State Building is taller than the Chrysler Building. - Kobe, Joe Wright
4th grade presented their Space Unit projects to their GT classes. The students chose one of six options from a choice board to research different aspects of space and space exploration. They were able to choose:
* an advertisement to persuade people to visit a planet
* create a timeline over space exploration and discovery
* create a diorama to give information about a planet
* create a board game with trivia about space and planets
* create a realistic picture book about a planet
* write a song to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star about one of the planets
In this unit, the students created a planet, then wrote about their planet in detail. In addition, the students chose one of six options from a choice board to research different aspects of space and space exploration.
* I learned that Mars was named after the Roman god of war. - Evan, West Side
* I learned that Pluto is 400 degrees below zero. I'm glad I don't have to live on Pluto! - Connor, West Side
* You weigh 60% less on Mars than on Earth. - Kobe, Joe Wright
* I learned that the coldest planet is Uranus. - Stefano, Fred Douglas
* I wonder what would happen if the earth stopped spinning. - Bella - Joe Wright
* Here is an interesting fact, Mars has frozen water! - Zaiden, West Side
* Have you heard of the planet called Super-Earth? It is a planet that is much larger than Earth. - Abdiel, Joe Wright
* I learned about a cold desert on Mars - that's interesting! - Brooklyn, Joe Wright
* I learned that Earth will only last for another 1.5 billion years! - Citlali, Fred Douglas
* I learned that Saturn's rings are over 160 million years old. - Lucas, Joe Wright
For this collaborative activity, student partners work to save a hapless gummy worm named Fred who has managed to capsize his boat (a cup) and lose his life preserver (a peach ring). Working together, students must rescue Fred, and put on his life preserver using the materials provided and without using their fingers. This activity helps helps students develop teamwork, problem solving, communication, and fine motor skills.
* The most difficult part was putting Fred's life jacket on. - Harper, West Side
* I thought saving Fred was fun! - Stefano, Fred Douglas
* I was happy I had a partner to help me because I couldn't have done it be myself. - Brooklyn, Joe Wright.
* The most difficult part for us was getting the boat (cup) off the floor. - Evan, West Side
* I learned that you have to work as a team to save Fred. - Bella, Joe Wright
* My favorite part was getting to eat Fred after we saved him! - Aiden, Fred Douglas