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Summer SAVY, Session 1 Day 4, Intro to Chemical Engineering (1st – 2nd)

Posted by on Thursday, June 13, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Good afternoon, SAVY families! 

I venture to say that this was our best day yet! Students continued working through the Engineering Design Process and applied their chemical engineering learning in Play Dough. Today, we explored the ingredient ratios in our play dough process and learned to improve our current method of creation by applying our knowledge of ratios and how materials interact with one another. We also explored the particle nature of matter as we talked about the solids and liquids in our recipe and how they change when combined. Students learned to adjust their recipes following the generalizations made yesterday:  when to add more water, when more flour was necessary, and at which point in the creation process to add the salt. It was amazing to watch them problem-solve on their own using these generalizations and even help each other out. We worked in partners, and they really enjoyed collaborating with each other! In the words of my favorite fictional scientist Mrs. Frizzle (from the Magic School Bus series), our students enjoyed “Taking Chances, Making Mistakes, and Getting Messy!” 

We applied our learning to create an improved play dough recipe with greater pliability and texture utilizing both a usage and texture test to analyze our final product. Some key takeaways from today include: engineers use a series of steps called the engineering design process to improve and design technologies; a process is a kind of technology; and adding or subtracting small amounts of materials can have a significant effect on the results of a process.  

In our exploration of the particle nature of matter this morning, students engaged in a short program called Labrakazam, which is a series of educational videos you can access from home through a program called Generation Genius. Below is the link for the video we watched today. Although the grade band lists the program as appropriate for 6-8th grade, your advanced learners not only enjoyed the program but scored 100% on the incorporated online quiz game, Quizziz! What a moment to be proud of each of your scholars!   

Particle Nature of Matter Video  

I have used this video platform for many science and math-related topics over my teaching career, and it is engaging and ad-free if you create a free account. Each video (8-15 minutes in length) is accompanied by a PDF learning guide and online quiz game to assess student learning, and the topics are well broken down and engaging for even the youngest advanced learners. 

We also enjoyed an indoor Brain Break featuring Danny Go (due to the warm weather), which I am including below per student request:  

ORA was held indoors today as well, and students had a great time engaging in some fun recreational activities with our amazing teachers.  

Discussion questions to extend today’s learning could include: 

  • What did you do to improve your play dough process? 
  • What was the most challenging part of today’s learning? 
  • Is there any other way the steps in the play dough process could be rearranged, and what effect might that have on the final product? 

It has been so much fun watching your children expand their critical thinking skills this week and develop friendships. Ms. T (our CA) and I look forward to tomorrow with bittersweet anticipation as we will explore culminating activities and the completion of this unique learning experience. Have a great evening!