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Spring SAVY 2020: Day 1 – Creative Contraptions w/Ms. Polk (3rd/4th)

Posted by on Monday, February 10, 2020 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

Hello SAVY parents!

Saturday’s session was one full of engagement and lots of learning! We used the Frayer model of learning to understand the definition of the term “scientists.”  We learned how there are many scientists in the world, and we identified the specific areas that some scientists study.  The Wheel of Scientific Investigation and Reasoning was also introduced.  Students were able to apply the components of scientific investigation throughout the lesson and use the wheel to analyze aspects of an investigation or to plan an investigation. We’ll be doing a lot of investigating in this class!

The macroconcept for this unit is systems.  A system is a collection of things and processes that interact with each other and together constitute a meaningful whole.  Students were able to brainstorm a number of systems that are in place to make quality of life better for the world. School, government, and transportation were a few of the systems that the students identified, but they had a long list! We then completed a small group activity during which students had an opportunity to draw, label, and discuss the various parts of a car. Did you know a car is a system? We took our list of items in a car and placed them into a blank systems model graphic organizer.  The parts of the car were separated into the follow categories: elements, boundaries, interactions, inputs, and outputs.  From this demonstration, students were able to get a better understanding of how scientists work to study and improve a multitude of systems. They also learned how all of the parts of a system must work together in order to function properly.  When one part of the system is interrupted there is a disruption in the operation of the entire system!

In the afternoon, we were able to use three of the six scientific investigation processes: Observe, Question, and Ask More.  Our focus included discussion about force and motion.  We conducted a demonstration with a toy car to give a visual representation of kinetic and potential energy.  We also talked about a variety of surface types and how that can impact energy.  Great discussion was held about how the surface type directly affects the speed of a vehicle!  Students were able to make observations about speed and surface type by rotating through five stations and activities. In each station there were both a rough surface and a smooth surface. Each surface was tested multiple times and data was collected to determine on which surface a vehicle would be able to move the fastest.  In conclusion, the friction lab allowed students to develop and test the hypothesis they developed before conducting the experiment about surface type and speed. We also determined how road engineers and corporations such as tire companies use this information to make driving safer for everyone.

I’m looking forward to another day of fun and learning next Saturday!


D. Polk

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