After our first successful Mystery Skype, we decided to try to connect again before the holiday break. This time, the focus was on each of our schools and what makes them unique. Fairview Elementary is a STEM school, and currently the students have been working through the Engineering Design Process. They started with testing and comparing Play-Dough. They looked at store-bought and home made play dough, made predictions, then tested both types of play dough. Afterward, students made adjustments to the homemade play dough recipe and tested whether those changes improved the texture of the home made play dough.
During our Skype session, students shared this process with our friends at Prescott Elementary. We also explained to them what it means to be a STEM school – what STEM stands for and the Engineering Design Process.
Students spent time practicing and rehearsing what they were going to say. It was great how not one student refused to speak, even though it was hard for some of them to speak in front of their classmates and on camera. It was awesome to see how much their confidence has grown!
Once we had an opportunity to share about our school, our friends at Prescott spent some time talking to us about the fun projects they are working on and their experience with getting to speak to a real engineer. He came to talk to their class about different states of matter – solids, liquids, and gasses. Our students were able to make a connection as they did a unit earlier this year on states of matter and capped it off with a visit to the A&W store to see different states of matter in root beer floats.
I am always amazed at how engaged kids are with technology. They loved being able to wave and say hello and they were thrilled with being able to see themselves on camera. Students love to share and being able to talk to other kids in a different part of the country is so cool for them. It’s pretty neat for us teachers, too.