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Sweet on S.T.E.M.

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

Last week, our fifth-graders learned that Science and Math can be fun and delicious!

Monday, March 14th was Pi Day, an annual celebration of the math sign Pi, which begins with the numerals 3.14. March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. The celebration of Pi Day is credited to physicist Larry Shaw, beginning in 1988. Mrs. Baker’s fifth-graders celebrated Pi Day in a big way. They read the story of Sir Cumference and the First Round Table, a fun story explaining geometry with puns from the legends of King Arthur. The classes then learned how to calculate the circumference of a circle using Pi. They listened to many Pi Day song parodies, including “Mathematical Pi” (instead of “American Pie”), “Pi, Pi, Pi” (instead of “Bye, Bye, Bye”), and “Pi Day” set to the tune of “Happy”. Mrs. Baker also gave out pencils with the first 100 digits of Pi, students colored the symbol for Pi, and, of course, they ate various types of pie!

Images of 5th-graders participating in Pi Day activities.

Pi Day kicked off a week of fun and tasty Science and Math lessons for the 5th-grade students. Since Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day, the math classes celebrated with “leprechaun math” games. In addition to these fun, thematic math problems, the classes learned to dance a jig. But fun learning wasn’t reserved just for these two special days! On Tuesday, students learned about natural resources through cookie mining! Each student had a budget to buy cookie mining supplies and a generic or premium cookie mine. First, students graphed the cookie. Then they mined the chocolate chips from their cookies using toothpicks and paper clips. For every chocolate chip they successfully mined, they were paid. If they overly damaged or destroyed the cookie mines, they paid reparations. Afterward, of course, everyone enjoyed yummy cookies! Through this lesson, students learned about the conservation and sustainability of resources and renewable versus nonrenewable resources.

Images of students participating in a Cookie Mining lesson.

During Science on Wednesday, the classes designed and constructed solar ovens in an engineering project that demonstrated what they had learned about solar power. Students worked in teams to build their ovens using pizza boxes, newspapers as insulation, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap. Some fifth-graders creatively decorated their ovens, too. While having fun making solar ovens, students learned about alternative fuel sources. Students tested their ovens on Friday by cooking s’mores at Sparks Field! They learned to place their solar ovens in direct sunlight for the best results and enjoyed the beautiful weather while their s’mores cooked. Fifth-grader Briley Bianco said, “I didn’t think the solar oven would work and was surprised that it did. I’m glad it did! The s’mores were delicious!” What a tasty way to end a week of learning!

Pies, cookies, and s’mores: the entire week was full of interactive S.T.E.M. lessons and delicious treats. Through these lessons, students also learned the importance of being good stewards of the natural world. God gave us the earth and its resources to care for and to maintain. We need to be wise in how we use resources for future generations.

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