Students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 presented their zero waste prototypes at the STEM Week Challenge Showcase in Boston on October 25. The challenge was put on by Project Lead the Way and Mass STEM Hub, which provided a different STEM challenge for each grade level. Sage students were tasked with creating packaging that would prevent an apple from decomposing.
Kindergarten teacher, JoAnna Telschow explained the preparation process. “Leading up to this challenge, students first learned about the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and took a tour of the school in search of ways they could make a difference. As we noticed ways in which we could save energy/produce less waste, we placed a handprint and a message next to it, to bring awareness to others around the school. We noted that we can make a difference by turning off lights when we leave the room; we could use thermoses instead of using the microwave, and bring utensils from home; to name a few. We journaled what was in our lunchboxes before and then after lunch to have an understanding of our food waste and what packaging was able to be recycled, reused, or just thrown away. We participated in a reader’s theater and learned about the life cycle of an apple from seed to fruit, and the journey of an apple to get a true sense of all of the work that goes into having an apple on our plates.”
Students had a certain amount of materials to choose from to use in their design. Working in small groups, the students closely observed and tested the properties of the materials to ensure that they would not break easily, cover all parts of the flesh, as well as keep air and water out. After testing the materials, students created their design, made improvements when needed, and tested their packaging.
After all teams made their presentations, the class voted for those that they felt would best represent Sage at the STEM Challenge Showcase. In kindergarten, Scarlett A., Joshua K., Aiden P., and Stella X. we’re chosen to represent the class. In first grade, Audrey B., Aaliyah G., Christian J., and Peter L., were the elected representatives.
“All students did a fantastic job articulating their process and answering questions about all aspects of their project. The kindergarten team won second place for their grade. It was a wonderful experience for all involved and we appreciated the opportunity to showcase the amazing students we have here at The Sage School,” said Telschow.