The science curriculum for Advent 5th grade is STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This a project based learning curriculum that is completely directed by the students. During our STEM classes, the students learn the curriculum and manage their time.
The first Missions that our students are working on are Rocketry, Cells and Reproductions, and the Human Machine.
The Rocketry Mission is comprised of the students creating straw rockets and then launching them. The goal of each launch is to manipulate the trajectory and thrust to land the rocket in a bucket that is 20-ft away. The students get to build two rockets to hopefully complete this goal. They also learn about rockets and space.
The Cells and Reproduction Mission is focused on different types of cells and reproduction. The students learn about the differences between a plant and animal cell. They build each of these cells out of “whikki sticks,” and then explain all of the parts and their functions. After learning about the cells, the students learn how cells reproduce through mitosis. This mission allows the students to see mitosis in all of its stages. The last element is the different types of reproduction. The students focus on ASexual and Sexual reproduction. Through exploration the students understand the importance of the different types of cells and each type of reproduction.
The Human Machine mission is made up of different experiments to understand just how incredible the human body really is. Through different experiments the students learn how important thumbs are, dominant and recessive genes, and how to calculate their pulse rate. This mission allows the students to use their own bodies to figure out how we are truly machines.
STEM is a wonderful curriculum that the students truly enjoy. I often hear the students discussing that this is their favorite class. I think that it is their favorite, because they are in complete control of their learning. It is amazing to witness.