GREEN MOUNTAIN VALLEY SCHOOL
G7 STEM UNIT
JANUARY 7 - FEBRUARY 1, 2019
Throughout this month long program, GMVS 7th grade students will learn STEM skills through the use of tools and building materials. The project incorporates hands-on learning, along with the mathematics of the 7th grade Connected Mathematic unit of Stretching and Shrinking, which targets the important topic of proportional reasoning between similar geometric figures. The math topics will be addressed through a warm-up exercise at the beginning of each two-hour class.
The unit will also include a community engagement component where students will work with the Moretown Library to build furniture for their children’s library. Students will assess the needs of the space through a site visitation and meeting with the library director. The following weeks will involve students designing, prototyping and building their original projects.
The program will culminate in a presentation to celebrate the youth-made furniture and fixtures that will be enjoyed by community members for years to come. The program runs for four weeks and includes 12 sessions.
MONDAY, JAN 7, 2019 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
WedNesDAY, JAN 9, 2019 | 3:00PM - 5:00PM
FriDAY, JAN 9, 2019 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
MonDAY, JAN 14, 2019 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
On Monday, GMVS 7th graders visited the Moretown Town Hall to speak with Moretown Library Director, Cory Stephenson about her Read and Play program for local kids. This weekly winter program combines reading and ‘loose parts play,’ which Cory described as materials that can be moved, combined, redesigned, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. As part of our winter STEM program, students will design and make furniture, storage fixtures and toys that stimulate creative play. At the end of our unit, the projects created by GMVS students will be donated to the library.
Throughout our conversation, Cory described some of the needs and constraints of the space. She suggested that the items that the students design be mobile — easy to transport, stable — strong enough so that children can’t push it over, and be child-safe — smoothly sanded, no sharp edges, and no parts that are small enough to swallow. She described a vision for an environment with lots of loose parts, items that can be played with and manipulated in many ways and that encourage pretending and creative thinking. An example she gave was a texture table (sometimes also called a sensory table), which is a child-height table full of materials that get children using all five senses. After speaking with Cory, the students took some time to brainstorm, draw ideas in the space, and ask clarifying questions about the Read and Play program and the space.
After our meeting with Cory, we drove back to GMVS to continue drawing and planning. Whitney and Ellie started sketching designs for a play kitchen, Leon worked on a profile drawing of a foot-powered wooden car, and Ella tried to envision the perfect height for a child-sized table.