Teacher Experience: “Backpack Designer” Task for 4th Grade Math & Science Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
4 th -Grade Math and Science Enrichment Teacher
Endeavor Elementary (OH)
Here’s What We Did:
For this task, students worked in groups to design the perfect backpack. After researching different design companies and backpacks they liked, students dug deeper into improving the utility, comfort, and aesthetic of backpacks currently on the market. Students created sketches including several views of their backpack while also including dimensions, volume, zipper locations, logo design and placement, color, and material used to create the backpack.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
With 10 being the highest, I would say that 98% of my students are at a 10 level of motivation. Before giving students options, I take an inventory of student interests to better shape the lesson to what they desire to learn. Defined STEM offers such a wide variety of lessons aligning with state and district standards, I’m able to give students a choice between four or five projects to complete. Allowing them to take ownership in their learning creates a wonderful teacher/student dynamic, building trust, confidence, and motivation. Defined STEM works because I’m able to align student interests with real-world problems students truly care about. The videos and articles are so helpful, and are exactly the support they need to make them think deeply about the subjects. The rubrics for the individual literacy prompts are very beneficial, as I have seen each student grow and improve over time.