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Spring SAVY 2020: Day 2 – Creative Contraptions w/Ms. Polk (3rd/4th)

Posted by on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

Hello SAVY parents!  Today’s session started with a review of what was learned in the previous session. The students had a great time battling each other in a game of Jeopardy.  I was really impressed with the amount of knowledge that had been obtained from only one day together! Saturday’s lesson began with a focus on creative problem solving. The students worked in small groups to find a solution to a noisy cafeteria scenario.  We became architectural engineers as each group developed plans to create a new and improved cafeteria that would reduce the number of noise complaints.  We brainstormed a variety of building materials that are helpful in absorbing sound.  One group even designed a cafeteria that would include an elevator and multiple floors to accommodate each grade level which would in return reduce the number of students eating in one space at one time!  We will have these drawing available at Open House next week and at least one group will present their design to everyone.

After lunch, the focus was around this quote, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.”  We began to come up with a list of things that could be categorized as a discovery such as “electricity” and a list of things that would be considered an invention like the “light bulb.”  The students were told that Levi Strauss had a problem.  His pockets would tear on his work pants and the rivets reinforced the pockets, keeping them from fraying.  George de Mestral observed how cockleburs adhered to his clothing and his dog’s fur which sparked him to invent a product widely used today, velcro.  The students were very interested in listening to a portion of the book, “Mistakes The Worked” by Charlotte F. Jones to find out how other items we use every day were accidentally invented such as cheese, rolls, and even posted notes.

Finally, I introduced the six categories of simple machines. These included the following: screw, wedge, wheel and axle, inclined plane, lever, and pulley.  A relay race allowed the students to test their knowledge of simple machines.  Students were then given 40 picture cards of various simple machines and asked to categorize them however they chose.  Each group gave an explanation as why they chose to categorize the items the way they did. We closed the day by thinking of a problem encountered in our everyday lives and the students began working on a plan to develop an invention that would help to solve that problem.

Thank you so much for being a part of this program. I’m looking forward to another day of fun and learning on Saturday! We also hope you’ll join us for the parent open house at 2:15pm to see what we’ve been working on at SAVY.