2nd Grade- Balance & Motion STEM Unit

2nd Graders at Columbine recently studied all about balance and motion. This STEM Unit allowed students to investigate how forces and motion are an integral part of our lives. Their science investigations explored different types of motion and how different variables like speed, friction, weight, and size can affect object motion. They also learned all about simple machines. They looked at different types of machines, how we use them in our every day lives, and how important they are for accomplishing work.

Students also began thinking about the importance of movement and robotics. They practiced with Spheros, and learned quickly that the variables used to control the Sphero on the iPad were very important to complete tasks like driving on a tape line or through an obstacle course.

To complete their unit, students took what they learned about balance, motion, and simple machines to create a Rube Goldberg-inspired design challenge. After doing some extensive research into the work of Rube Goldberg, students selected a simple task and found a way to make it more complicated. Each group needed to complete a machine that had 4 simple steps and utilized more than one simple machine. This was no easy task. Students began by diagraming each step of their process and creating a list of the materials they would need. After that, they spent 3 class periods testing, adjusting, and reiterating their prototypes. Groups recorded their progress on iPads, and after they were finished they reflected on how well their simple machines performed to complete their chosen task.