A Trip to the River

The Merrimack River served as a living laboratory for the study of ecosystems and earth science for our 5th grade students this week! Our students traveled by boat on the Merrimack to explore how natural and human forces are changing the Merrimack’s Watershed. Students collected water samples, performed water quality tests, and analyzed their data to determine the quality of the water. They also built and tested water filters to assess their ability to clean polluted water and used models to explore how the world’s water is distributed. A great learning experience for all!

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NMS in the News!

3M grant gives Makerspace goodies to Nissitissit Middle School

Nashoba Publishing

POSTED:   11/21/2017 12:35:31 PM EST

 

By Anne O’Connor

aoconnor@nashobavalleyvoice.com

PEPPERELL — Middle school students will be going even more high-tech in a hands-on classroom where they can make things that work.

A $2,500 grant from 3M will enable the school to purchase screens for the Raspberry Pi teaching computers it already owns. They are set up in the school’s makerspace.

“It will give each kid a workstation,” said Evan Worth, technology and makerspace teacher at Nissitissit Middle School.

The innovative classroom comes at little cost to the district. “The whole thing is really grant funded,” he said.

“I’m lucky that we have some parents from 3M,” Worth said. “They kind of tipped me off about it.”

In the classes, which meet, once a week, students might make an electric circuit using tinfoil and batteries or print something on a 3D printer.

“All over the spectrum of STEM,” he said.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sets standards for science, technology, engineering and math in the curriculum.

Students learn the basics of programming and making their own robots, Worth said.

“They love it,” he said.

Makerspace learning has been compared to technical classes from an earlier era, he said. Instead of cutting wood and designing shelves, kids use computers and other new technology.

The learning style can engage students who are not strong in traditional subjects.

 A couple of his students are really good at programming, Worth said. They made a really cool clock.

Teaching in a non-traditional classroom is a lot more work than teaching the standard curriculum.

“I’m making this, the whole curriculum, up,” Worth said.

The district is considering a new curriculum from a Massachusetts company, FableVision, which uses project-based learning.

“I think that will be good,” he said.

Using the makerspace as part of a project-based learning might mean something like an English teacher using the lab so students can use paper-cutters to tell a story.

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.

Read more: http://www.nashobavalleyvoice.com/ci_31470402/3m-grant-gives-makerspace-goodies-nissitissit-middle-school#ixzz4zAboZd7y

Nissitissit River Trip!

“There’s a snake in my boot!”
“No, that’s just water!”, Mr. Pineda told one of his students.
Students and several teachers went to the Nissitissit River WMA on Hollis Street last Friday morning.  After a short walk, nets and tupperware containers were picked up at Mr. Pineda’s truck as children rushed to wade into the river to catch shiners, crayfish, dragonfly nymphs, clams, frogs, and toads.
Fifty gallons of water and many specimens were hauled back to school to set up the classroom aquarium.  By hauling water, problems in adjusting water pH and temperature are avoided.  Over the next several weeks, the aquarium will be a discussion topic as local ecosystems are investigated.
According to Mr. Pineda, there was one question that was asked over and over again:  “When is our next trip?”!🐟🐸

Merrimack River Watershed

The Merrimack River Watershed – shaped by human and natural influences – served as a living laboratory for the study of ecosystems and earth science for our 5th grade students last week!

Our students traveled by boat in Lowell’s canals to explore how natural and human forces are changing the Merrimack Watershed.  We collected water samples, performed tests, and analyzed data. Students also built and tested water filters to assess their ability to clean polluted water and used models to explore how the world’s water is distributed.  What a great learning experience. A big thank you to Mrs. Worth for organizing this trip!