STEAM Blog

  • Earth Day Celebration 2021

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 4/26/2021 1:00:00 PM

    Last week was our first week back with all students in the building five days a week, and being who we are, we wanted to celebrate with a BANG! All students K-6 rallied Friday, April 23rd to celebrate Earth Day!  bird feeder

    Students in the Elementary had the pleasure of traveling throughout the day to eight different stations to experience fun and engaging STEAM-related activities to celebrate our planet. The smiles were endless, the laughs were loud, and we couldn’t have asked for anything better after such a long year apart.  

    Mrs. Norasethaporn, Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Wesche shared a piece of literature in the library with students before diving in to make birdseed feeders! Ms. Deal shared a class favorite activity recycling coffee filters for coffee filter art. Ms. Burger shared our impact on this earth with “The Human Footprint” and a nature scavenger hunt. Mr. Nolan helped students code our Ozobot Robots through a weather maze. Cornell Cooperative came in to help students plant their very own sunflowers. Coach Clark and Coach Bradt had everyone up and moving with games to get the heart pumping and our bodies healthy! Ms. Majot and Mrs. Finnemore helped our students prepare for shopping by decorating reusable shopping bags. Finally, Mrs. Simpson tested students' knowledge of Earth and recycling practices with a Kahoot trivia game and Earth Day BINGO!  coding

    A huge thank you goes out to everyone who not only led an activity, but also to High School volunteers who assisted our adults in the activities, Mr. Rounds for escorting students around campus, our administration for their support, and to our students and teachers who made the day great with the presence and participation.  

    It may have been a long 13 months waiting for everyone to get back together, but our Earth Day celebration proved that not only can we take care of our planet, but that we can take care of each other by celebrating in a safe way.  

     

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  • Minecraft Hour Of Code Master

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 3/17/2021 10:42:00 AM

       zach irish A huge Congratulations to Ms. Mckeown's 2nd Grade student, Zach irish, for mastering Minecraft Hour Of Code! Many know Minecraft as just a video game, but it also holds great power as a teaching and learning tool. Zach is a great example of all the lessons it can provide! 

      A few months ago, Zach took on the challenge of trying to learn how to code through this creative platform. Not only did he practice on his "in-person" days, but he spent extra time on his "at home" days to make sure he was learning the right steps! And boy did his hard work pay off! Zach completed both the Minecraft Hour of Code AI 2019 module and the Minecraft Hour of Code 2020 module! Through these lessons, he applied his reading, math, and problem-solving skills to:

    • create and follow algorithms
    • Decompose steps to solve a problem into a precise sequence of instructions
    • Create programs including sequences, events, loops, and conditionals

     

    Congratulations Zach, we are so proud of you and can't wait to see what you do next! 

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  • 5th Grade Adventure Day

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 3/3/2021 2:00:00 PM

      Ms. Majot and Mrs. Sanasith's 5th Grade classes have been working hard learning about the habitats and biomes. To celebrate what they have learned, students were surprised with an adventure day with five different activities to represent each biome they had learned about! 

      food web When students "traveled" to the Savannah, they explored Food Webs by creating a visual model. After being assigned an animal card, students had to identify its predator and prey to re-create a web of energy starting with the sun and ending with a decomposer dung beetle. By the end of the activity, it was clear just how important every living thing is to our planet. Everyone was able to see the tremendous impact extinction can have on the other animals in the web that can drastically change our Earth. 

     

     In the Rain Forest, students connected virtually with "The Bug Chicks", Kristie Reddick, and Jessica Honaker. The Bug Chicks first partnered with Genesee Valley through JASON Learning in 2018 when Sophia Marra and Mrs. Meg Retchless traveled with them as GV's JASON Argonauts to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru to study Entomology. During their talk, the two experts shared their knowledge of insects and other bugs to help students transition from fear to fascination with all things creepy crawly! Sophia Marra even had the opportunity to pop in the call to share her experience with the 5th graders. Who knows- perhaps she inspired our next JASON Argonaut?

    bug chicks

      The Desert provided students the opportunity to get creative with green screens. After each student research a desert animal, they created a short video sharing their knowledge that was then compiled into a larger compilation. You can watch the Monday/Wednesday crew's video here and the Tuesday/Thursday crew's video here

     

       tracks Next, students "traveled" to the Tundra so they didn't have to go very far considering there was snow just outside! 5th Graders had the challenge of using maker supplies (popsicle sticks, straws, q-tips, glue, tape, etc) to recreate the outline of animal footprints in the Tundra. The tricky part? The footprints had to be to scale! Students had a blast making their creations, especially when they had the opportunity to take them outside to create tracks in the snow! 

     

       As students went to the Coral Reef, they had the pleasure to virtually connect with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Florida for a virtual tour of their facility. The center is a rehabilitation center for sea turtles who are injured in the ocean or who are unable to make it to the ocean after birth. The guide showed the students their facility, walked students through the process of rehabilitating these beautiful animals, and even showed the patients, big and small! Students had a wonderful time and even began brainstorming what they could do to "adopt" a sea turtle as a class! 

    loggerhead

       wetlands Finally, students visited the wetlands to end their day by creating beautiful silhouette research art. After researching facts about one of the many animals that live in the wetlands, students use markers, a plastic bag, and water to create a water painting that showcased all that they had learned. 

     

      At the end of the day, there were many laughs, and all the Genesee Valley teachers who were involved hope that everyone had a fun day sharing their knowledge and what they have worked so hard to learn! 

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  • GV Tech Talk

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 2/1/2021 11:00:00 AM

    Get Thinking with JASON Learning 

    JASON Learning Why Not invent it? Dean Kamen has become a renowned inventor, creating items like the segway, the first wearable infusion pump for diabetics, and an electric wheelchair that can climb steps! He is also the founder of FIRST Robotics which Genesee Valley participated in for several years before switching to VEX Robotics. Follow this link to read more about his inventions and how innovation is driving the medical field! 

    Think and Share with Mrs. Simpson on TEAMS: 

    Research the capacities of flying drones- how much can they carry and how far can they fly? Design one that can carry a five-pound load and fly at 50 mph for 30 minutes. Factor in reliability to ensure organs will be delivered safely, temperature control, and speed! Get creative and if you need inspiration, check out this video to watch how robots are currently being used in Washington, D.C. for food delivery! 

    JAGS App Suggestion

    Mrs Sanasith, 4th Grade Teacher suggested you to check out Bitmoji! It's is a fun app that she uses for her virtual classroom! 

    Reminders Icon Savannah Werner and Addison Grusendorf, highly recommend using the Reminders app that automatically comes on the iPhone! Both use this for school and home life to keep them on track and organized, especially with online assignments! It sends you notifications when you have a due date coming up they say it is very helpful! 

    Tutorial Highlight

    Are you trying to keep up with your assignments and classes? Check your progress in the PowerSchool Gradebook!  Watch this tutorial to see how! 

    Innovation Center Spotlight

    Are you looking to for something to do during lunch now that the weather has turned? Check out some of our STEAM Lunch items! One option is Minecraft! Minecraft for Education has now been pushed out to all students! Once your work is completed, log in using your Microsoft 365 login and start creating! You can even design 3D printed objects through Minecraft and connect those objects with TinkerCad! Mrs. Simpson is available to help in actually printing your designs!

    Minecraft EDU

     

    Leap Into STEAM Literacy 

    What to do with a box  If you give a child a box, who can tell what will happen next? In What To Do With A Box, it may become a library or a boat. It could set the scene for a fairy tale or a wild expedition. The most wonderful thing is its seemingly endless capacity for a magical adventure!

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  • STEAM Challenge Of The Month

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 1/6/2021 2:40:00 PM

    Looking for something to work on during your off days during January? Check out our STEAM Challenge of the Month! 

    Each month in 2021, there will be a new STEAM Challenge released for Pk-6 and 7-12! Proud of your work? Share a photo or video of your results with Mrs. Simpson on TEAMS to have it highlighted on the announcements and in the GV STEAM Blog! 

    Pk-6 STEAM Challenge: Heart Races

    A new year means time for a resolution! All around the world these resolutions are made. The most common one has something to do with fitness! In fact, about 14% of people making resolutions are determined to exercise more! People are finding innovative ways to make their resolutions come true while following the appropriate guidelines for the pandemic.exercise  

    Your challenge is to design an experiment to see which exercise raises your heart rate the most! 

    Think: 

    • What exercises will be tested?
    • How long should you perform each activity?
    • How do you test your heart rate?

    Required Materials:

    • Stopwatch or clock with a second hand (you can use your iPad!)
    • Data Sheets (Don't want to make one? Find one here)
    • Weights or other workout materials (optional)

    BONUS: Want to go even further? Create a graph of the data you collected to show how you got your heart pumping! 

    7-12 STEAM Challenge

     As populations age and costs of assisted living for those with medical needs increase, home automation and telemedicine services allow elders to live in their own homes longer. Examples of these services are programmed control of heating/air condition and bed sensors that record sleep quality, and medication dispensers with alerts.home automation   

    Watch this video below to learn more about the different ways individuals have created automation in their homes!  

    Think:

    Research home automation that assists those with medical needs. What could you develop to further assist those with medical needs at home? How will that benefit not only the individuals but their families and doctors as well? Develop an advertisement using any multi-media tool of your choice to showcase your invention and ideas.

     

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  • The Art of Theater Presents: Hamilton

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 1/6/2021 8:00:00 AM

         art of theater Every few years there is a musical that sweeps the world by storm! The students of the high school elective, The Art of Theater, agree that for them, Hamilton is that show. Whether they are seeing it in class as a learning tool, watching it on Disney+, or listening to the music, it is easy to say that for many, the obsession with this musical is real. 

          While this elective was supposed to look a little different this year, exploring the light and soundboard, visiting off-broadway stages such as Shea's, and learning the ins and outs of putting together a musical, COVID-19 made Mrs. Slawson shift gears. Instead, the class took on dissecting one of the most popular musicals of the decade through a live YouTube show that was then shared on the GV Talks STEAM podcast (highlighting the Arts) as well being broadcast on the Angelica Radio Station 92.7 on Thursdays at 4!

         In the three-part series, two students took on the role of hosts for each episode focusing on two topics regarding the musical. Sophia Gugino (10th Grade) and Lealah Greene (10th Grade) discussed the societal impact of the musical (especially in the towns of Angelica and Belmont) as well as its historical accuracy. Molly Hannon (9th Grade) and Nathan Slawson (11th Grade) discussed the choreography and "The Bullet". And finally, Moriah Clendenin (12th Grade) and Rylee Shott (12th Grade) discussed the music and the costumes. 

         To listen to their amazing insights of Hamilton, and to learn even more about this dynamic performance, check out the GV Talks STEAM show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you like to listen or watch on the GV YouTube Channel

     

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  • GV Tech Talk

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 12/7/2020 11:40:00 AM

    JASON Learning Get Thinking with JASON Learning 

    Why Not invent it? Dean Kamen has become a renowned inventor, creating items like the segway, the first wearable infusion pump for diabetics, and an electric wheelchair that can climb steps! He is also the founder of FIRST Robotics which Genesee Valley participated in for several years before switching to VEX Robotics. Follow this link to read more about his inventions and how innovation is driving the medical field! 

    Think and Share with Mrs. Simpson on TEAMS: 

    Research the capacities of flying drones- how much can they carry and how far can they fly? Design one that can carry a five-pound load and fly at 50 mph for 30 minutes. Factor in reliability to ensure organs will be delivered safely, temperature control, and speed! Get creative and if you need inspiration, check out this video to watch how robots are currently being used in Washington, D.C. for food delivery! 

    Faculty & Staff App Suggestion

    Desmos Ms. Ryan, Middle School Math Teacher, suggested that all students check out Desmos! This is a great app if you forgot your calculator or are working from home. It has four functions, scientific, and graphing capabilities, and is easy to use! 

    apple health Mrs. Turybury, Guidance Counselor, suggests checking out the Apple Health app that automatically comes on the iPhone! You can track your steps, get sleep reminders, monitor your health and symptoms, and track mindfulness minutes, and more! 

    Tutorial Highlight

    Are you collaborating with your class? Does a teacher or peer need to see what you are doing? Share your screen! Watch this tutorial to see how! 

    Innovation Center Spotlight

    The Sewing & Embroidery Machines are a perfect machine if you are looking to get creative with fabrics! The Brother Sewing Machines allows you to view designs before stitching begins, choose from 80 embroidery designs, or upload your own! This machine also includes 7 versatile sewing feet with buttonhole, overcasting, monogramming, zipper, spring action zigzag, blind stitch, and button sewing feet! 

    sewing machine

    Leap Into STEAM Literacy 

    The Little Red Fort Ruby's mind is always full of ideas in The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier! One day, she finds some old boards and decides to build something. She invites her brothers to help, but they just laugh and tell her she doesn't know how to build. "Then I'll learn", she says. And she does! When she creates a dazzling fort that they all want to play in, it is Ruby who has the last laugh. 

     

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  • Outside-of-the-Box Education: Genesee Valley Central School Teachers Lead the Way with STEAM Initiatives

    Posted by Genesee Valley Central School on 12/1/2020

    Churning butter. Designing and constructing tea crates. Conducting a smallpox infection simulation.

    These probably aren’t the types of activities that you’d expect to see in elementary and middle school classrooms.

    But they’re just the sort of innovative hands-on learning projects that teachers at Genesee Valley Central School are designing to engage their students in the classroom.

    Three Genesee Valley teachers shared these and other innovative practices at the 55th annual NYSCATE conference on November 23 and 24.

    The conference, held virtually this year, draws educators from across the state to share ideas that school districts can implement to improve education through the innovative and effective use of technology.

    Churning Butter Genesee Valley library media specialist, Nicole Norasethaporn, along with Lindsay Simpson, STEAM and Instructional Technology Specialist, co-presented a workshop titled Redefining the Library through STEAM.

    The workshop detailed Genesee Valley’s process of crafting a program called “STEAM Week” that incorporates the district’s goals of project-based instruction and interdisciplinary learning. (STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.)

    “STEAM Week” is an hour-long session, held once a month, in which each elementary class uses literature as a springboard to launch into a hands-on activity developed to reinforce learning and foster connections across disciplines.

    This year, third grade students at Genesee Valley have been learning about colonial life in their reading of the novel “Little House in The Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. As part of “STEAM Week,” students were given an opportunity to experience life like the Wilder Family by churning their own butter, COVID style. Students took turns churning a mason jar of cream, sanitizing after each one’s turn, until they made butter. 

    “STEAM Week gives me the opportunity to embed the kids’ normal lessons into a hands-on STEAM project,” said Norasethaporn.  “It’s not ‘STEAM Week’ to the kids, it’s ‘FUN week!’ Projects like this that relate to what they are already learning in the classroom makes it easier for kids to understand and makes it more fun.”

    The library isn’t the only place at Genesee Valley where creativity has transformed what education can look like.

    Donna Slawson, middle school social studies teacher at Genesee Valley, seeks to design projects that connect learning across disciplines. Her philosophy is simple: “the more hands on you can make a lesson, the more relevant it is to the kids.”

    Slawson led A NYSCTAE workshop (co-presented with Simpson) titled STEAM Rolling Through History, that highlights how history can be the connecting point to bring other disciplines to the table.

    Tea Crates “Take the Boston Tea Party,” shared Slawson. “Traditional classes might have a lecture and a PowerPoint. In my STEAM8 class, we built tea crates, looking at area and volume, predicting whether they would sink or not. We take social studies topics like the Boston Tea Party and expand them to include other subjects, incorporating a hands-on project. By doing this, kids see that their learning is connected.”

    Another project Slawson introduced this fall was a smallpox simulation that helped students make connections with what is happening in our world today with COVID-19. Mrs. Slawson collaborated with fellow science teacher Bridget Chichester to explore science concepts and demonstrate how disease can spread quickly through contact. Not only were students able to make real-life connections to our current world, but they were able to connect historical context with science for real-life application.

    “Coming up with interdisciplinary, project-based assignments is a LOT of work,” commented Slawson, “but it’s so much more rewarding than giving a test. I love getting to see the look of excitement on the kids’ faces when they make connections.”

    Simpson can be found collaborating with Genesee Valley teachers at all grade levels to enhance learning through technology and collaborative STEAM Learning. In a normal year Simpson would be seen working with students and teachers alike in spaces such as Genesee Valley’s Elementary Makerspace and Innovation Center, this year her focus has been assisting families, students, and educators with technology to help everyone find success in our everchanging educational environment.

    “Throughout these STEAM projects, we love seeing students interacting with the content and applying what they learn to real life,” concluded Simpson, “This is our goal as educators.”

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  • STEAM In The Library Makes Homemade Butter

    Posted by Lindsay Simpson on 11/19/2020 1:45:00 PM

     Butter

    Nicole Norasethaporn has been working hard to continue bringing literacy and STEAM into our classes among our new COVID regulations. As always, her creativity prevailed!

     

    Butter Third-grade teachers Ms. Schmidt and Mrs. Shafer have been teaching their students about Colonial Life through the novel “Little House In The Big Woods” with Mrs. Norasethaporn’s help. To give students an opportunity to live a little bit like the Wilder Family, Mrs. Norasethaporn brought in supplies for students to churn their own butter- COVID style! Students were able to take turns churning a mason jar of cream, sanitizing after each one’s turn, until they made butter.

    Butter A huge thank you to Mrs. Norasethaporn for bringing in this activity and allowing students to enjoy their colonial recipe!

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  • The Great Egg Drop of 2020

    Posted by Mark Levine on 10/30/2020

    Many years ago, a design challenge was born in a young man who took every art and tech class offered at his school. The original challenge was to build a structure from toothpicks, glue, and a sheet of paper that would protect an egg dropped from a second story window onto concrete. Twenty years later, that same person finds himself on the other side of the student’s desk – teaching fundamental engineering concepts to a class of thirty-four 8th graders, learning under the restrictions of COVID-19 protocols.

    Zipline

    The new challenge – how do you transport an egg down a zipline from a second story window to the courtyard below using only materials readily available to you and using the Engineering Design Process to plan and document the results. The 8th grade students at Genesee Valley were tasked with such a challenge.

    The rules are simple: create a vehicle that can ride on a zipline that can transport an egg safely from top to bottom within a reasonable amount of time. Using the design process, students needed to identify the problem, research solutions resources, develop brainstorming ideas, develop a design plan, and construct a working prototype. In the engineering world, prototypes are small scale simulations of a solution to a larger problem. Some students imagined their prototype as ways to transport goods while others imagined their solution transporting people. If the egg broke – your goods or passengers were damaged.

    In addition to discussing the concept of transportation technology and the engineering design process, students were also exposed to concepts of packaging, physics, and safety. Using time in class, students learned the soft-skills of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. Digital citizenship and responsibility required students to communicate on their online platforms and submit assignments on-time and in the correct format.

    Zipline 2 While the situation we have found ourselves through new protocols may produce situational difficulties and hardship – we choose to find the opportunities that new adversity provides to grow, thrive, and excel.

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