Help me give my students the chance to work with properties of cement and concrete that starts with learning about strength in structures and finishes with an activity making reusable tea light holders.
The grade 8 students are enthusiastic, typical middle school students who love the chance to learn with hands-on projects that help make real-world connections. All students will have an opportunity to participate in STEM class as a core class in grade 8, meeting for 90-days of the school year.
Designed as a second math/science class, incorporating STEM disciplines, the students are fortunate to have access to curriculum that will help foster critical thinking and problem solving in a fun and creative class.
Who doesn't want to play in the mud? In this mechanical engineering, math and science lesson, students will experience first hand thermal expansion properties of cement as well as create a useful item.
After a hands-on discovery of the correct ratio of cement mix to water, students will use their "recipe" and experience the fast increase in temperature of the cement as it starts to harden.
Students get a chance to play with the cement/concrete mixture, and eventually make a tea light holder. As students work with the mixture they will discuss the properties of cement and why it is used to help stengthen structures.
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