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Stem 7
Instructor: Ms. Finch   
Welcome to 7th grade STEM!†

This semester we will be conducting hands on experiments to learn more about engineering, technology, and the world around us. We will begin the semester by studying simple machines and energy, with this knowledge we will create Rube Goldberg machines (elaborate machines used to complete a simple task). As the semester continues we will become engaged in studying significant issues that have an impact on our environment. We will also look at historical technological and scientific advancements in our world's history. As a class we will become problem solvers, critical thinkers, scientists and engineers.†
May 8th - May 12th
This week we will be looking at different contributions to the internet, and computer age. We will study the history of modern day computers, as well as media moguls who impacted the technology we use today. Students will be studying the creators of google, facebook, apple, and more.

The EPIC field trip is taking place Wednesday May 10th
The Talent Show is Friday May 12th from 3:30-4:30
April 24th- April 28th
This week we will begin construction of our Rube Goldberg Machines. Students have been learning about simple machines and energy. With this knowledge they are going to create elaborate contraptions. Throughout the week students should bring in supplies such as household materials and recyclables to help with construction.
April 10th - April 14th
This week we will continue to learn about simple machines and different types of energy. We will combine our knowledge of these topics to research a famous roller coaster, and how roller coaster rides contain examples of simple machines and energy. From there we will move onto analyzing Rube Goldberg machines, complicated contraptions that are used to complete a simple task.
March 6th-10th
This week students will learn about the history of Mt. Vesuvias and the desolation of Pompeii. Upon completion of studying about the disasterous effects of volcanic eruptions students will have the opportunity to select a specific natural disaster that they want to learn more about. Students will create a culminating project to demonstrate their knowledge of a specific natural disaster.
February 27th-March 3rd
Students will begin breaking down the natural disasters by focusing in on specific events such as the 1906 California Earthquake. Students will read first hand accounts of the earthquake. Students will also learn the different classifications of Tornadoes, and the history behind Tornado Alley. The movie, Twister will also be shown to demonstrate how movies sometimes portray inaccuracy when it comes to weather.
February 20th - February 24th
This week we will begin our unit on extreme weather and natural disasters. Students will learn about the variety of natural disasters that plague our world. We will go in depth to understand why disasters occur, and the effects these disasters bring with them. Students will also analyze the roles people take in order to ease the effects of natural disasters or how to survive certain disasters.
February 13th-February 17th
This week we will be wrapping up our unit on Plastic Pollution in the oceans. We will learn about organizations that contribute to recycling and that bring awareness to the impact plastic pollution has on ocean ecosystems. We will also complete a project where students can create a digital animal collage combining images of plastic materials.
January 30th - February 3rd
This week we will continue to explore the problem of the Great Pacific Garbage patch. Students will look at different view points concerning plastic pollution in the oceans such as whether or not plastic bags should be banned. Eventually this research will lead up to a debate, arguing whether or not the ban of plastic bags would be a helpful impact on plastic pollution in the ocean.
January 17th-January 20th
Hello! Welcome to a new semester!

This week students will be learning about the processes which happen when trash is thrown away. Students will also be learning about the recycling process and the impact recycling has on our environment and within our community. Towards the end of this week students will have the opportunity to interview their peers, and family members about their opinions on recycling. Together students will compile this data to better understand the thought processes behind recycling.
December 12th - December 16th
This week we will be wrapping up a mini unit on Robotics. Students have been learning about the importance of robots within our society. Students will teach their peers a short lesson on a specific "thing" our society couldn't do without robots. This week we will also spend time reviewing for our final. The final will be a culminating test which will have questions from every unit we have gone over throughout the semester.
November 14th - November 18th
This week we will begin our final unit of the semester. We will be looking into various STEM related careers, in order to gain an understanding of the positive impacts STEM has on our community. Students will learn about the history of large corporations such as Google and Apple, and how those companies started from limited resources, but have grown into world wide acknowledged and successful companies.
November 7th - November 11th
This week we will begin our final project to wrap up our unit on Plastic Pollution in the ocean. Students will be gathering plastic trash around the Highland Campus and creating sculptures of marine life. Like an organization called Washed Ashore based out of Bandon, CA. These sculptures will be used to draw awareness to the plastic pollution problem, and how great our trash problem is, even in a land locked state.
October 24th - October 29th
This week we will be learning about how plastic products are made, especially the most common plastics that are found in the ocean such as plastic bags, toys, and silverware. We will also be researching both sides of the plastic bag debate, and uncovering our own opinions about whether or not plastic bags should be banned.

Parent teacher conferences are also this week, Tuesday and Thursday night!
October 3rd - October 7th
This week students will be presenting their Rube Goldberg machines. This will wrap up our unit on simple machines and energy. Starting Thursday we will begin our next unit which focuses on the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans. Students will dive into this topic to learn the causes and effects of plastic pollution, and how we can take steps to protect the environment.
September 26th - September 30th
This week we will begin construction of our Rube Goldberg machines. Last week students spent time drafting and designing their machines, and this week begins the building process. This activity will help students become active problem solvers, and challenge their thinking as they try and accomplish a simple task, through a series of silly steps. Students will combine their knowledge of simple machines, and energy to create their own unique Rube Goldberg machine. Presentation of machines is due Tuesday October, 4th.
September 19th - September 24th
This week we are going to spend time looking over our end of unit assignment. Students will be constructing their own Rube Goldberg Machines. Last week we combined our knowledge of how simple machines and energy work together by watching videos of Rube Goldberg contraptions. Goldberg drew comics where a protagonist was trying to accomplish a task using a very complicated contraption to complete something simple. Students will be creating similar machines in their teams. This week will be spent designing and planning.
September 12th - September 16th
This week we will be studying kinetic energy through two experiments. One experiment will include the distinctions of Kinetic energy through an experiment involving various sized marbles. We will look at the amount of energy the marbles possess. Another experiment will focus on potential energy becoming kinetic. This experiment will use rubber bands.

Students will also have a quiz on energy on Thursday the 15th.

There is no school Monday Septmember 19th.
September 6th - September 9th
Last week we had an introduction to the different types of energy. Now that we are able to identify and label these different types we will move onto conducting experiments to further explore the relationship between Kinetic and Potential energy. As we do experiments we will also learn about the process of the Scientific Method that way we can write our labs as scientists would. Alongside the Scientific Method we will analyze data and begin the process of recording and graphing results from our experiments.
August 29th - September 2nd
This week students will do an activity where they create simple machines, and see how the machines function to make work easier. We will also move onto energy and the different types of energy such as; kinetic, potential (chemical and mechanical). The class will create energy collages to help identify the various types of energy. This will prepare students for a lab on kinetic energy which we will complete the following week. An important reminder is that, Friday September, 2nd is a half day.
August 22nd - August 26th
This week will begin our unit on Simple Machines, Energy, and Rube Goldberg. We will learn to identify the six simple machines and how they are used to make "work" easier. Students will have the opportunity to go on a scavenger hunt around the school identifying simple machines and addressing how they are used to make our daily lives easier.

Our class is also broken into teams: "Aldrin, Armstrong, Newton, and Einstein" Within these teams students are held accountable through an online point system called, Class Dojo. Students earn points for teamwork, effort, being helpful, and other essential skills to the class.
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