February 26, 2016
Dear Parents and families,
Due to recent and on-going Social Media concerns, NMS will be hosting an interactive presentation for parents/families educating them on different Apps their students may be using or have access to. This important presentation is set to take place at NMS on April 7, 2016 at 6pm. In order to give families up to date information on what our students are actually using, I have developed a survey to collect data from both our students and parents. Your student’s name will not be on this survey and all data will be presented by grade level.
You can also access this link on the NMS blog. I would love to incorporate Parent data as well. I will also offer this survey opportunity to students during their assigned technology/genius hour times. If you would choose for your student to opt out of the survey please sign below and return to NMS by Monday Feb. 29. By not returning this form, you have agreed to allow your student to participate in this survey. We hope you see the value in collecting this data and we hope to see all of you at our Social Media Information Night in April.
Thank you for your help!
______ I choose for my student to opt out of this survey.
Since our school opened in 2000, tapping maple trees has been a tradition with Mr. Pineda’s classes. This year the taps went in earlier than ever before! Tapping maple trees teaches children about a wonderful New England tradition and emphasizes lessons learned about environmental science, global climate change, and plant physiology. Staff members and friends of the school community take the watery solution home to make into syrup! Little helpers even visited over vacation to start collecting sap! Yum!
A group of passionate seventh graders continue to educate our staff and students about Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani activist for woman’s education. Each morning, they share information with us during our daily announcements. Check out the video clip below that was part of last week’s NMS News Broadcast.
A Valentine STEM Challenge: Catapults and Candy for 5 Red
Last Friday, fifth grade students on the Red Team learned a great deal about force, motion, and structure as they worked in teams of three to meet the challenge of building a catapult that could launch a piece of Valentine candy further than any of the other catapults in the room.
Prior to our STEM challenge of the day, the students were given very little information other than to answer the following questions: What does a catapult do? What is a projectile? How does a catapult work? What type of simple machine is it (inclined plane, lever, pulley, wedge, screw or wheel and axle?) How do you know?
After being grouped into teams of three, the students were given the task of designing their catapult and choosing which materials they wished to use from the following list: up to ten large and/or small craft sticks, one clothespin, one binder clip, one plastic spoon and six rubber bands.
As the students designed, they were instructed to keep in mind the following points – What is your design goal? How much force will your design require for a successful launch? What angle launches the projectile the furthest? After the initial catapults were constructed, students took to the hallway to test them. They tried different projectiles that included small and large candy conversation hearts; gummy hearts; and large, sugar-coated marshmallow hearts.
After each launch, students collected data to help them notice patterns and make changes in their design. They quickly learned that the weight and mass of the objects launched made a difference. They all loved the large marshmallow, but no one could get it to launch further than 12 inches while some of the smaller candies sailed well over 20 feet and often even hit the ceiling!
For safety, there was a very strict rule making sure the projectiles were never launched when anyone, even a teammate, was in front of the projectile.
If a high level of engagement is the path to learning at higher levels, then we believe STEM education just may be the best route to take! Students have a whole new idea of what engineers do and were very eager to stretch their thinking to create a working design.
A very challenging and fun day today! We’re really looking forward to our next school-wide STEM day this Spring!