The marble maze simple machine project took on a life of its own. Although today was the last official day, students implored me to keep the projects up so they could continue to build. Therefore the projects will remain up for recess and free time building and design.
If I do the project again, I'll do the following:
- Start out with the web page like I did this time.
- Supply the STEAM center with lots of recyclables in an organized way.
- Preview the project with students who are reluctant during project work.
- Work with students to make good teams.
- Give each child a box of essential supplies including duct tape, scotch tape, popsicle sticks, wheels and wheel-like objects, scotch tape, and clear plastic overhead sheets. (Note that the duct tape created friction which often hindered the marble's ride so I'll likely look for slippery adhesive tape in the future--any suggestions?).
- Assign each group to a team "workshop area" in the classroom.
Next week students will have the chance to make their own movies of their projects. They'll also complete reflection sheets related to their project's strengths, challenges, and learning. I'll likely share some of their comments as I use the information to further analyze the project's merits and needs for future teaching. As part of the reflection, students will be asked to screenshot one photo from their collection or the collection on the Storify below to upload to Google Draw in order to add important labels and captions to further share their project details and learning.