Second Grade Nest: A Visit to the STEM Lab

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Visit to the STEM Lab

This year, we are beginning a STEAM/STEM lab! My class got our very first visit last week and we loved it!

We had a mission!
To save Sam.

Since it was our first visit to the STEM lab, we had to go over the engineer design process and the 4C's for 21st Century Learning.
You may be thinking that this is a little advanced for first graders, but you're mistaken. They honestly understood the terminology, the process, and the purpose of our STEM lab. 

Here is our scenario.
Sam is our worm. He can't swim.
His life preserver is under his boat that just capsized.
We have to get the life preserver on Sam without drowning him OR touching him with our fingers! 
You're only allowed to use your paperclips. 

Students were asked to make a booklet with their plan, their process, and their results. 

Drawing and labeling what they see before it begins.

Drawing and labeling their plan of action. 

Working with a partner and collaborating. 


And got it!!!

These kids rocked it. I had all but 3 teams successfully complete the task with no extra help.
After we redirected the struggling 3 teams, they got it! 

They rocked!! 
4 C's were all practiced! 
-Critically Think


  1. I love this activity! We do something similar at the start of the year, but I 'up the ante' by providing only toothpicks (one per person)...and you may use only one hand! (Otherwise, Mr. I Can Do It will grab two toothpicks and solve the challenge by himself!)

  2. How fun! I love this!! Glad you are loving first grade at the new school :)

  3. I love this. Do you have the lesson plan you could send for this? Is this out of a book you have to find these types of STEM lessons? I would love to find more activities like this to do with my class.