Learning doesn’t just have to happen in the classroom. The students of Scott Elementary have been taking their learning to the next level by integrating science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) thanks to the creative collaboration of staff.
The third grade team at Scott created an interactive solar system hallway display thanks to a joint effort with the campus art teacher and digital learning coach.
The display was a scale model of the planets' distance from the sun that spanned 60 yards down the school's main hallway. Each planet was painted in watercolors by third graders during art class to promote interest and ownership.
The result was equal parts engaging, informative and future-ready.
“Each planet was made using recycled materials, trash and found objects before the students explored a variety of watercolor techniques and applied them to each planet,” said art teacher Sarah Holden. “We had an amazing discussion about the amount of trash that accumulates over time, how it affects our planet and what we can do to help. What started out as a lesson on watercolor techniques turned into something bigger and better!”
The distance of each planet from the sun was posted under each planet so the kids could see the actual distance in miles.
"We wanted to give students a sense of the sheer size of our solar system that simply does not translate from books and pictures,” said Jason Gibbs, a third grade math, science and social studies teacher. “They used the hallway display to practice memorizing the planets in order of the distance from the sun. We saw a huge increase in engagement, which translated into improved assessment scores across the grade level."
The students also used Flipgrid to make videos of themselves talking about new facts they learned about the individual planets. All grade levels in the school were then invited to perform a "solar system spacewalk" in the hallway by scanning QR codes linking them to the Flipgrid videos.
“It was incredible to see students learning from each other,” said Courtney Harrison, the campus digital learning coach. “Using Flipgrid, they were able to collaborate and communicate with students beyond their classroom walls -- skills that support future-ready learning. I was proud to support the third grade team and be a part of a PLC that can make this type of learning happen.”
The third graders took teaching into their own hands and educated the school on the solar system.
More videos are made every day when the students feel inspired enough to share new knowledge they learned in the classroom. There is even a "Scott Space Station" tent set up for kids to record their Flipgrid videos.
The interactive solar system display is definitely something the students at Scott Elementary will remember for years to come. The staff at Scott is to be commended for their innovative collaborative lesson.