Sixth grade STEM classes are ‘Rocking Out’

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In sixth grade STEM students are busy “rocking out” to geology as they study the earth’s layers, continental drift, geologic time, tectonic plates, volcanoes, and  earthquakes. Students are developing their scientific analysis skills and ability to provide evidence and examples when taking a stance. Classes have been talking about trade-offs and weighing the cost and benefit of any give action. The knowledge and skills accumulated will be used to decide where to safely store nuclear waste in the United States with the least amount of economic, ecological and human risk.

STEM May 2015

In the past several weeks students created their own seismograph models and simulated earthquakes to further their understanding of plate tectonics and the layers of the earth.

STEM May 2015 2

Students have also been preparing for their spring trip and began to study the “Scablands” of central Washington. Students are getting excited about seeing the evidence of the great floods during the ice age, and are beginning to develop a deeper understanding of geologic time and the epic events that have shaped our landscape. They watched the NOVA documentary Mystery of the Megaflood: Examining the World’s Most Catastrophic Flood.

STEM May 2015 3

In addition to learning geology, outdoor living skills and rock climbing while participating in spring trips, students will continue to apply their knowledge of the character strengths they have been studying in advisory to experiences outside the classroom. Character is being incorporated into the curriculum and daily debriefs while on the trip. Students will be using mini journals to write down observations about geology and the natural history of the area, as well as journal about their experience.