Teacher Experience: “Aircraft Designer” Task for 5th Grade Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
5 th -Grade Teacher
King Middle Grade School (IL)
Here’s What We Did:
Students worked in groups to learn about and designing planes by using paper. After learning about how planes fly, the various types of planes, and the cost, students used the vocabulary gained through the research resources on the Defined STEM website to design their own planes. The task tested the students by making them think critically about limitations, such as the size and weight of their planes and materials they used when creating and engineering products. Students tested their planes, and were asked to explain how far their plane had traveled using new vocabulary. They incorporated math skills into the task by calculating the efficiency of their design and taking measurements. They participated in this task for about three weeks during class time, every other day for 30 minutes. Each group got to choose their own delivery method to show their assessment of the knowledge, which allowed them to incorporate their acquired computer skills.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
Defined STEM helped the students to work independently (with teacher guidance) to research their provided topic. Students were given an opportunity to choose which way they would like to present their information to showcase the knowledge they gained, which encouraged and empowered them to research their topics. As they showcased their final presentations, it was evident that students had learned a great deal and were excited to share their knowledge.