I teach at a middle school in a large city. We are a Title I school with 100% of our students receiving free breakfast, lunch, and supper. My students are amazing and eager learners, and I want to help them become successful, happy adults.
Most of my students are from the local area.
They have chosen to follow a marine science and environmental studies pathway for their middle school years. English is a second language for many of them. Their parents encourage them to learn as much as they can, while supporting the teachers any way they can.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have moved some of the science labs I have relied on for many years to other grade levels while adding some new science concepts to my grade. In addition, all grades are required to include more STEM projects.
My students love hands-on activities.
Participating in hands-on activities helps my students recall and understand concepts more clearly and thoroughly. It also gets them excited to come to class, reducing absences.
The K'NEX Beasts Alive and LEGO Stunt Truck will move my students into the realm of complex machines, forcing them to follow directions carefully and rewarding them with a moving Robo-Beast or a truck that can actually sail up a ramp. Both of these activities will increase their understanding of science concepts that every middle school child should know. The plastic boxes will be used while building to control all the pieces. They will then be used to store the kits for the next class.
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