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STEM School Home Pages / Resource STEM Articles / Video

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If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                       John Dewey

What is technology?

Technology is frequently mistaken for science. Although it appears similar, the body of knowledge is different. Technology  deals with human-made phenomena. Science deals with natural phenomena.  (Brusic & Barnes, 1992)

More simply put, technology is everything in our environment that is human-made or human-altered. It is how humans have modified the natural world to meet their needs and wants.



STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The field of engineering and technology education involves the understanding of the human-made world. It is part of an area of study that is referred to as STEM.

The new common core standard will crosscut the processes that an engineer uses as students begin to understand the purpose of technology through designing and creating solutions to problems that stem from human needs and their human wants.

STEM education integrates and applies the understanding/ knowledge and skills of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to produce solutions for real world problems.

Our goal is to have all students able to understand and use the skills of a scientists, engineers, and mathematicians as they plan, design and evaluate solutions to real world problems.

The mission will be to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education opportunities that spark interest and promote literacy in all Cherry Creek students while improving their overall achievement and increasing career and college readiness.

Mr. Hellbusch, M.Ed.
STEM and Science Specialist
Dakota Valley Elementary

STEM Research Notes

1. Only 4% of our work force is composed of scientists and engineers, which create jobs for the other 96% of the workforce.

RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers)

RAFT supports teachers by being green. RAFT gathers unwanted items from local businesses and upcycles them into interesting and unique learning activities.  Last year, we diverted approximately 17,500 cubic feet of waste from landfills in Colorado.





STEM Definition


Why teach STEM?

What are the characteristics of STEM students?

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What is engineering

Engineering is not science. Engineers generally don't "do" science. Science is about discovering the natural. Engineering is creating the artificial.

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What is engineering and science?

“Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was.”

                                                                                                                Theodore Von Karman, Aerospace Engineer

Eight Principle Practice of a Scientist and Engineer

K-12 Grade

(1.) Asking questions(for science) and defining the problems (for engineering)

(2.) Developing and using models

(3.) Planning and carrying out investigations

(4.) Analyzing and interpreting data

(5.) Using mathematics and computational thinking

(6.) Constructing Explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

(7.) Engaging in argument from evidence

(8.) Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating information

                                                                               (NRC 2012)

The 7E Learning Cycle



STEM Teacher Resources


3rd Grade STEM Bookmarks

Kindergarten STEM Bookmarks

4th Grade STEM Bookmarks

1st Grade STEM Bookmarks

STEM General Resources

5th Grade STEM Bookmarks

2nd Grade STEM Bookmarks

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Make a Difference

You and I want our lives to matter.We want our lives to make a real difference. We know that there is no satisfaction in merely going through the motions. We want to know we have made some impact on the world. In fact, you and I want to contribute to the quality of life. We want to make the world a better place.
                                                                        Werner Erhard


The Works... just one example of the EDP (Engineering Design Process)

The EDP is not as linear as it sounds, it is a process that can get messy, but is a good grounding force when first introducing kids to engineering and how engineers think.

Engineer Careers/ CTechnology


Careers in STEM Related Jobs



STEM Student Connections





The Three Little Pig Design Challenge Webquest

Who Sank the Boat

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Engineering Design Process EDP...

              THE PROBLEM

The Background Experience

Experience the background knowledge

11. The Three Little Pigs Design Challenge

What is taught?

How it is taught?

Science Connection

1. A World In Motion Challenges
         Primary Level (grades K-3)
Rolling Things Challenge Students explore the story,The Three Little Pigs Sledding Adventure
Based on the scientific concepts presented in the story, students explore toy cars and car performance. Students launch the cars from ramps and investigate the effects that different ramp heights and car weights have on distance traveled. Students make adjustments for performance through variable testing.

Todo lists


What is the problem?
Choose the best solution
Test your solution
Evaluate your solution


The Three Little Pigs STEM Design Challenge

The 4th Little Pig built?

Challenge 11 Storm-Tolerant Three Little Pig Project

1. The weak storm 2. The medium storm 3. The powerful storm

The 4th Little Pig Engineering Project

This is a slide-share ppt lesson that walk you through the step of the EDP (Engineering Process) and allows kids to use criteria and constraints in the process. A writing project of writing a for sale add could integrate another literacy piece to your project.

The Three Little Pig Go Sledding

Engineering Design Challenge and the science concept of motion

EDP Process

What is the EDP?

Boat Book

Information to share with your students on shapes of boats

Who Sank the Boat?

Do you know who sank the boat? What is the science behind the sinking of the boat?

2 Liter Paddle Boat

Can you get a 2 Liter Bottle to move across water by itself?



STEM Bookmarks 2nd Grade

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Exploration Balance

Help George the clown find his sense of balance... What does one mean when they say, " I have found the balance point." ?

: Exploration Balance

Students will: * balance pairs of like and unlike objects by changing distance from fulcrum * record observation and identify patterns in their work * construct and use a two-pan balance * compare mass of two objects * construct a bar graph showing the results of their measurement * determine position necessary to balance uneven objects * identify effect on balance of moving the fulcrum. * become familiar with the relationship in balancing between the length of the mass arm and the mass of the objects on either side.

What would a mealworm worm ranch look like ?

3. You have probably heard about caterpillars turning into butterflies or tadpoles turning into frogs. You may have even heard about frogs turning into princes, but that happens only in fairy tales. A lot of animals start life in one form and change into a completely different shape when they become adults. Scientists call this process metamorphosis (met-a-MORF-a-sis).

      Mealworm Ranch is a project that will let you see first-hand how metamorphosis works.

Adventure of Herman the Worm

4. Jimmy John is super fast... super fast... but what if Jimmy Johns or Subway had to build a new sandwich for Herman the worm? Do you know what the sandwich or deli would look like for Herman's sandwich?

Structural Engineering Design Brief Challenge

The students' assignment will be  take 25 toothpicks, a wet sponge and a box of packing peanuts and build the tallest structure they could that would remain standing.

The constraints are material and time. You will have 10 minutes to plan and 15 minutes to build the structure.

Grab an engineering and plan sheet and let's begin....


                                              Some Frog Jokes!


What animal has more lives than the cat?
A frog - he croaks every night!

What's black and white and green?
A frog sitting on a newspaper!

What do you say to a hitch-hiking frog?
Hop in!

What do frogs do with paper?

What kind of shoes do frogs wear?
Open toad!

What's green green green green green...
A frog rolling down a hill!

What happened to the frog's car when it's parking ticket expired?
It got toed!

How do you apologise to a witch?

What does a frog say when it sees something great?
Toadly awesome!

What did the frog order at the fast food restaurant?
Squirrel jokeFrench flies and a diet croak!

Why did the frog saw meow?
He was learning a foreign language!


Ditch and Wilson 5

Digging America Challenge #5

Fetch Challenge #6

Fetch Challenge #6... This design challenge will "Float Your Boat"

Perils of Polina

Does the change in climate on Earth cause problems? Read and find out...

Third Grade


Henry's Cabin Bookmarks

3. Tower Power STEM Challenge


What causes the Earth's surface to change?

Engineer A Kite Design Brief

The Lemonade Stand Design Brief

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Henry's Cabin

Animal Houses

"How long we may have gazed on a particular scenery and think that we have seen and known it, when, at length, some bird or quadruped comes and takes posession of it before our eyes, and imparts to it a wholly new character." Thoreau, Journal

Animals use their houses for protection, storing food, and rearing their offspring. Their homes can be underground or high in the trees, in the water or dry land. Birds build nests in trees or other convenient place such as a roof crevice in a house. Squirrels gather lots of leaves and build nests between branches of the trees during the summer. In winter they prefer a hole in the limb of a tree. Chipmunks rabbits, and woodchucks burrow underground. So do foxes, They live in a den until the young are able to care for themselves. A skunk likes a ready-made burrow. Web spiders spin intricate geometric designs used for capturing food while insects employ a variety of architectures Some wasps build their homes with mud while others chew particles of wood that mixes with their saliva to make a paper substance. Underwater houses consist of shallow troughs in the sandy bottoms of ponds and streams where fish spawn. The turtle carries his house on his back, but lays its eggs in the sand.


Observe the wildlife in the movies at the top of the page. Describe what you see. Keep a journal of your own observations of animals that visit your home or schoolyard. Download the Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your sightings.

Get the Turtle to the Pond Problem

You are a forest ranger who has just find a box turtle. Your job is to get the box turtle back to the pond. What angles are you going to use? What are the direction you will be traveling? Use the graph paper to plan a way to get the turtle safely to the pond. Design a path using the applet from the bookmark.


How do I get the turtle to the pond?

When Henry decides to build a cabin, he is given lots of advice from his friends. While others think it should be bigger, he has his own ideas. Follow Henry through the building process and see how his cabin is just right! Then, play the Build a Cabin game. Henry Builds a Cabin is another fantastic book by D.B. Johnson that looks at the life of Henry David Thoreau in a delightfully engaging way. It is a book for all ages.

Lemonade Design Challenge

How Do You Keep Lemonade Cool? This video segment adapted from FETCH!™ shows two cast members teaming up to take on a design challenge: make a lemonade stand that keeps lemonade cool and is sturdy and transportable. With the assistance of master carpenter Norm Abram, the team does an experiment to determine the best insulator for keeping the lemonade cool and then chooses their materials from among those available. Their deliberate approach exemplifies the strengths inherent in the step-by-step approach to effective design known as the engineering design process.

Garbage Bag Design Brief

Make a kite out of a garbage bag: Any piece of soft plastic will do. Shower curtains, painting tarps, garbage bags . . . Kites that start out as simple shapes and can become very complex structures. You'll need: garbage bag thick tape small dowel rods hole punch kite string




Totem Pole STEM Bookmarks

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Webquest Discover Engineering

1. What is engineering? 2. What are some careers in engineering? Find 2 careers and identify what technology problem are they solving?

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5. Repurpose Four-Everyday Life Project

Problem: Reduce... Reuse and Recycle...

Scenario: Instead of throwing a way an item and considering it it trash. Your task will be to imagine a way to repurpose the item to solve a problem in your life or another person life.

1. Watch the video clip from Design Squad Nation on PBS
2. Inside your mystery bag is an item that was going to be trash in our landfill.
3. Use the EDP (Engineering Design Process) to create an item that provides
    for a need or want.

Ideas: Shoebox and Hanger Whirligig

3. Emma and the Box Factory

Emma's Problem

How many different nets can you draw that can be folded into a cube?

This lesson uses a real-world situation to help develop students' spatial visualization skills and geometric understanding. Emma, a new employee at a box factory, is supposed to make cube-shaped jewelry boxes. Students help Emma determine how many different nets are possible and then analyze the resulting cubes

6. Fiction or Nonfiction?

Fact of fiction? Do you think it is possible to have animals travel into outer space and back to Earth?

Space Place Do Design Challenges

9. Use Space Place Do Challenges to learning more about technology and how science connects to our human wants and needs.

9. Play Space Place Games after you finish each STEM Challenge.


Belka and Strelka

Is this picture of the two dog fact of fiction?




Pringle Challenge Webquest

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Student STEM Activities

1. The Pringle Challenge will begin in March...
                                   Please see Mrs. Simpson 5th Grade Class for details

2. How does the shape of an object determine how it use the force of air to travel?  Build 10 paper airplanes and diagram the flight patterns of each.

Discover Engineering Video Clip Challenges

Discover Engineering Online

Engineers!..... Don't they drive trains? Do your students think this? If so, surprise!!! Engineers do lots of cool stuff! For example, did you know electrical and computer engineers design compact disc players and DVD's? Engineers create lots of cool gadgets. On this Web site you can find out what type of engineer builds roller coasters, water slides, snowboards or fighter jets/planes. You can also find fun activities, experiments and projects all related to engineering on Discover Engineering! Watch the video clip and design a solar cooker that can cook cookies.


PBS Building Big Challenge

The PBS web site explains all about large-scale construction - domes, dams, skyscrapers, bridges and tunnels. It is definitely worth a look and it is a nice companion to further understand structures.

Web widgets

Google Maps


The Pringle Challenge

Criteria... Constraints... all for the sake of saving your pringle chip from breaking...

The Ring

10 Paper Airplanes that will challenge your thinking.

STEM Tradebooks


STEM Trade Book Bookmarks

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SPOON: What is technology? K-3

1. Book Title: The Spoon
     Text type:  Fiction
    Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Scott Magoon

    How was it used within the STEM classroom?
    As an introduction to STEM and my want to have kids understand K-3 that technology is not just the 
    computer and things that are plugged into the wall.

 Definition of Technology: Technology is almost anything or process people make or create to solve a
 problem; make life easier, because of a human want or need.

Recommended by: Mrs. Stouder a first grade teacher at Dakota Valley Elementary

A World In Motion SAE Set

The Three Little Pig Go Sledding / Malarkey and the Big Trap /
Once Upon a Time in the Woods/  The Rocket Age Takes Off

Titles by This Author                                                      Stephen Krensky

Stephen Krensky did not have the kind of childhood anyone would choose to write books about. It was happy and uneventful, with only the occasional bump in the night to keep him on his toes. He started writing in college and his first book was published in 1977, two years after he graduated. He is now the author of over 100 fiction and nonfiction children’s books, including novels, picture books, easy readers and biographies. When Mr. Krensky feels he has spent enough time hunched over his computer, he likes to play tennis and softball. He and his wife Joan live in Lexington, Massachusetts. ime in the Woods/  The Rocket Age Kicks Off

Proceeds of the sale of this book will benefit the pre-college programs of the SAE Foundation. To learn more about the SAE Foundation’s STEM education programs, visit

Henry Builds a Cabin K-3

When Henry decides to build a cabin, he is given lots of advice from his friends. While others think it should be bigger, he has his own ideas. Follow Henry through the building process and see how his cabin is just right! Then, play the Build a Cabin game. Henry Builds a Cabin is another fantastic book by D.B. Johnson that looks at the life of Henry David Thoreau in a delightfully engaging way. It is a book for all ages.



Henry Builds a Cabin

STEM Literacy

By Natures Design

What geometric designs are found in the sea? On land? Make leaf rubbings. What natural patterns do you see on a walk in the country? In the city?

Construction for Children

Constructions for Children by Barbara Eichelberger & Connie Larson Published by Dale Seymour Publications ISBN 0-86651-627-1

Sea Breeze Hotel

The Sea-Breeze Hotel by Marcia Vaughan & Patricia Mullins Published by HarperCollins ISBN 0-06-020488-5

Junior First Lego League



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Jr First LEGO League (JrFLL) Schedule

                         Junior First LEGO League 2013
: First and Second Grade Students

How: Students will get permission to participate, and then a student lottery will determine the 20 students attending the league.

  • A-Track  April 23-24-25  and  April 29-30 and May 2
  • B-Track  May 14-16-17   and  May 20-21-23
  • C/D Track  June 3-4-6    and  June 10-11-13

LOTTERY Drawing will be  as follows: A-track out on 4/2 and drawn on 4/8

                                                                      B-track out on 4/23 and drawn on 4/29

                                                                     C/D track on on 4/1 and drawn on 4/8


Junior First LEGO League Calendar


Can you name the LEGO brick?

Listed below are some LEGO challenges that you can create at home... Good luck young engineers? Take a picture of it the completed challenge and send it to

STEM Night 2013

Amazing Engineering!

LEGO Shadow Project

Students had to recreate a shadow using a visual picture as their guide.

Patent for LEGO

The original diagram of the first LEGO Brick.

LEGO Shadow

Scratch Programing


SCRATCH Bookmarks

Computer Program Design Briefs

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If Parents ask, "Why Learn Scratch?"

Why Learn Scratch?



21st Century Learning Skills


To learn more about the development of 21st Century Learning Skills, visity the site of the Partnership for the 21st Century. The following quoted information is extracted from the document "Learning with Scratch, 21st Century Learning Skills," written by By Natalie Rusk, Mitchel Resnick, and John Maloney, Lifelong Kindergarten Group, MIT Media Laboratory.



Nine Learning Skills in Three Areas


"The report Learning for the 21st Century identifies nine types of learning skills,

divided into three key areas. This handout highlights the ways Scratch supports

the development of these 21st Century learning skills."

Area-1: Information and Communication Skills


1. Information and Media Literacy Skills

"By working on Scratch projects, students learn to select, create, and manage multiple forms of media, including text, images, animation, and audio recordings. As students gain experience creating with media, they become more perceptive and critical in analyzing the media they see in the world around them."

2. Communication Skills

"Effective communication in today’s world requires more than the ability to read and write text. Scratch engages young people in choosing, manipulating, and integrating a variety of media in order to express themselves creatively and persuasively."

Area-2: Thinking and Problem Solving Skills


3. Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking

"As they learn to program in Scratch, young people become engaged in critical reasoning and systems thinking. In order to build projects, students need to coordinate the timing and interactions between multiple “sprites” (programmable moving objects). The ability to program interactive input provides students direct experience with sensing, feedback, and other fundamental systems concepts."

4. Problem Identification, Formulation & Solution

"Scratch supports problem finding and solving in a meaningful design context. Creating a Scratch project requires thinking of an idea, then figuring out how to break the problem into steps and implement them using Scratch programming blocks. Scratch is designed to be “tinkerable”: students can dynamically change pieces of code and immediately see the results (e.g., doubling a number to see how it changes a graphic effect). Throughout the design process, students engage in experimenting and iterative problem-solving."

5. Creativity and Intellectual Curiosity

"Scratch encourages creative thinking, an increasingly important skill in today’s rapidly changing world. Scratch involves young people in seeking innovative solutions to unexpected problems—not just learning how to solve a predefined problem, but being prepared to come up with new solutions as new challenges arise."

Area-3: Interpersonal & Self-Directional Skills

6. Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills

"Because Scratch programs are built of graphical blocks, the programming code is more readable and shareable than other programming languages. The visual objects and modular code supports collaboration, enabling students to work together on projects and exchange objects and code."

7. Self-Direction

"Taking an idea and figuring out how to program it in Scratch requires persistence and practice. When young people work on project ideas they find personally meaningful, their ideas provide internal motivation for overcoming challenges and frustrations encountered in the design and problem-solving process."

8. Accountability and Adaptability

"When students create Scratch projects, they have an audience in mind, and need to think about how other people will react and respond to their projects. Since Scratch projects are easy to change and revise, students can modify their projects based on feedback from others."

9. Social Responsibility

"Because Scratch programs are shareable, students can use Scratch to provoke discussion of important issues with other members of their immediate learning environment, as well as with the wider international Scratch community."



WELCOME TO SCRATCH! Programing for Free by MIT

STEM Vocabulary



Video Clips

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Nonfiction Text Words A

A apply
B build
C criteria

Why Latin and Greek Roots?

"Upper elementary school students need to go beyond phonics, syllable knowledge and simple prefixes and suffixes because word length and complexity change dramatically beyond third grade"

"The end of third grade is the time to introduce students to the Latin roots and Greek combining forms used frequently in social studies, math, and science text books"

--Marcia Henry Unlocking Literacy

STEM and Mathematics


STEM and Mathematic Bookmarks

STEM Robotic / Genenal Video Clips


Robotic Video Bookmarks

General Video Bookmarks

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Robotic Video Bookmarks

1. When people think of the future, they often think of robots. But before robots can be on hand to do our
 laundry or even rush into burning buildings, roboticists have to solve a major engineering problem: how
 to make a machine walk on two legs without falling over. To find out, David Pogue meets scientists
 building all kinds of bipedal machines – from autonomous soccer-playing robots to robotic suits that can 
 be worn by humans.


Have you played the "Aquabots" game yet? Find this game and many more on the SciGirls website! [ ]

SPIRIT 2.0 Education Project

5. SPIRIT 2.0 Education - Classroom Resources





STEM Assessment/Rubric


STEM Rubric / Assessment Ideas


STEM Webinars


STEM 101

Inquiry in the Classroom Video Clips




GT STEM Challenge


Paper Airplane Challenge


Paper Airplane Challenge

What are the forces of flight?

DC-3 Of Paper Airplanes Prototype

Try out this design... Instruction Link in Challenge page

View STEM in Action


Parts of a Robot 1st Grade

Students were asked to add part to a robot by designing one out of shapes as part of the planning process.

Marble Holder and Carrier Design Problem

Constraints and Criteria brought this design forward to students

Jerome's Cleaning Problem

These two young girls synergized and idea based on Jerome's house having 2 floors.

ELA Student Works with LEGOS

An ELA student work with design and written language before she shared in front of the class on Jerome's Problem.

Leadership Totem Pole

Students in 4th grade used recycled ends of strapping rolls to integrated the background knowledge from STEM and structures with ART knowledge to create a totem pole that tells the story of leadership from an animals characteristics.

Visual Perspective of LEGO Robot

From parts to purpose, this young man developed a robot with LEGOs and then put his prototype design on paper.

Marshmallow Disaster Problem

Students were asked to keep a marshmallow off the table at the tallest point, but had constraints of limited material and time. (20 sticks, 5 name stickers, and 30 minutes)

Challenge of a HOVER Craft

Two young engineer demonstrated their Hover Craft design in process to first grade students.