Walton Education Foundation

Students will build, explore, and problem solve using gear manipulatives in STEM related tasks that grow in escalating complexity. Completed projects will move when constructed correctly either by simply rotating the gears or actually roll on wheels.
Manipulatives, which are hands-on tools for teaching math and other subjects, are a great way to reach tactile and visual learners. STEM is important because it is in every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Manipulatives used in problem solving tasks can aid students in developing skills to maximize performance in math, engineering and science classes and realize their full academic potential through offering and receiving peer collaboration.

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Geared Up for STEM

School:
Dune Lakes Elementary School 
Subject:
STEM Education 
Teacher:
Julie Perk 
 
Melissa Lessig, Rose Anderson, Liz Tucci, Brittany Hill 
Students Impacted:
105 
Grade:
Date:
October 3, 2018

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

CHELCO - $1,487.85

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Impact to My Classroom

# of Students Impacted: 120


Our students initial interaction with the gears was surprising in the amount of support the students required. Setting the activity as a play choice allowed our students to interact with the materials in an exploration format. We believe this factor contributed largely to the improvement on the tasks at the end of the year. This year the students average rubric score was increased from 6 to 12.


The gear kits were distributed to teachers in storage bins with the rubric as a guide towards the desired outcome. The teachers decided using the materials in a play setting would be best in regards to the age of our grade level. The initial score on the rubric was surprisingly low. The students wanted constant input and were easily frustrated. They needed guidance on the plan and adapting the plan and encouragement not to give up. They were successful in putting gears together with nearly all students scoring a 2 on that rubric component. By allowing the students to interact with the gears throughout the year in a play format afforded them the opportunity to explore and problem solve on their own without teacher intervention. We feel this had the largest impact on their improvement on the rubric. By the end of the year nearly all students could score a 12/12 on the rubric with all scores being over 10. The frustration level nearly non-existent as they worked to so,ve the challenges.


With the student enrollment fluctuating during the year, we believe this grant impacted over 120 students. Each of the 5 classroom teachers was given a storage bin to contain all 8 gear sets. The grade level chair is storing the three extra sets for future larger classes or replacement pieces.


1 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60 2 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60 3 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60 4 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60 5 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60 6 Gears set for larger classes 29.95 x 3 $89.85 7 Storage containers for 5 classrooms $200.00 Total: $1487.85

 

Original Grant Overview

Goal

Students will build, explore, and problem solve using gear manipulatives in STEM related tasks that grow in escalating complexity. Completed projects will move when constructed correctly either by simply rotating the gears or actually roll on wheels.
Manipulatives, which are hands-on tools for teaching math and other subjects, are a great way to reach tactile and visual learners. STEM is important because it is in every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Manipulatives used in problem solving tasks can aid students in developing skills to maximize performance in math, engineering and science classes and realize their full academic potential through offering and receiving peer collaboration.
 

 

What will be done with my students

There are 105 students in first grade at our school this year. The materials that would be purchased through the grant would last for years thereby having a positive STEM effect on a vast number of students.
The teachers plan to use the gears as a STEM station. In the introductory period, the gears would be viewed as a toy and free exploration is encouraged. We believe this will set the tone for relaxed and fun future use while building the exposure and experience needed to later solve the problem tasks. Then teachers will create collaboration pods for groups of students to work on specific tasks such as manipulating a set number of gears to work in unison. The pods are intended to have peer leaders demonstrate skill and model problem solving. Our students would progress through regular practice into more complex tasks problems such as building a motorized vehicle while also diminishing group size to partners.
The product requested has many unique features that come to life when the gears work together creating a multitude of options to continually challenge our students. Gears building sets include propellers, axles, wheels, pulleys, chains and of course lots of gears!
 

 

Benefits to my students

“Problem solving is cognitive processing directed at achieving a goal when no solution method is obvious to the problem solver.” (Mayer, 1992)
Usually all that can be measured for problem solving is whether the person can solve the problem or not. We intend for our students to be evaluated on the process during the interaction with the materials instead of task completion. We created the rubric below to evaluate students during use of the materials. A measurement of first task rating compared to later ratings will determine if the students are improving.


Rating:3 Rating:2 Rating: 1
Student can state the problem Student attempts to state the problem Student can not state the problem
Student can change plans to correct issues. Student can identify if progress is not working. Student tries same solution even if it doesn’t work
Student can connect pieces Student attempts to connect pieces. Student can not connect pieces
Wants to succeed until completion Tries to solve but gives up quickly Doesn’t try to solve


 

 

Budget Narrative

SIX Gears building sets (that includes propellers, axles, wheels, pulleys, chains and of course lots of gears) for each of the first grade classrooms. $29.95 each x 8 sets = $239.60 x 5 classrooms = $1198.00.
3 extra building sets for classrooms with higher enrollment numbers. $29.95 x 3 = 89.85.
LARGE Storage containers for each of the 5 classrooms @ $200 total.
Grand total: $1487.85 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60
2 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60
3 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60
4 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60
5 Gears! Gears! Gears! Class Set 29.95 x 8 $239.60
6 Gears set for larger classes 29.95 x 3 $89.85
7 Storage containers for 5 classrooms $200.00
  Total: $1,487.85

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Special Thanks to Our Presenting Partners

CHELCO

Alys Foundation

St. Joe Community Foundation

Gulf Power