Elementary Technology

Hands-On, Project-Based Elementary STEM Curriculum and Products

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Curriculum Titles

DESCRIPTION

In Circuits, students learn about electrical energy and how electricity is produced. The Crew also learns how electricity can be converted into other useful forms of energy. In addition, students learn to safely wire circuits.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Identify the parts of an atom.
• List the parts of a simple circuit.
• List at least three things that make a circuit.
• Define conductor and insulator.

ACTIVITIES

• Draw a picture of an atom and label the parts.
• Produce electricity using magnetism.
• Experiment with static electricity.
• Produce electricity using chemicals and light.
• Wire a simple circuit and a series circuit.
• Experiment with conductors and insulators.
• Draw a schematic diagram of a series circuit.
• Wire a parallel circuit.
• Draw the symbols for a number of electronic components.
• Experiment with a capacitor.

DESCRIPTION

In Crime Lab, students solve mysteries using physical evidence found at crime scenes. Students use pictures, reports, and the Crew’s own powers of observation, logic, and problem solving to solve mysteries.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Name four physical traits.
• Name the two types of fingerprints.
• Describe the difference between dominant and recessive traits.
• Name the four blood types.

ACTIVITIES

• Use problem-solving skills to identify suspects.
• Construct a model of physical traits.
• Identify a suspect by comparing DNA markers.
• Identify a suspect after comparing fingerprints left at the scene of the crime.
• Chart and graph Crew members’ dominant and recessive traits.
• Determine the best blood type match for a wounded investigator.

DESCRIPTION

Design and Test is about the design process that’s used to solve problems and invent products. In Design and Test, students build models using several materials and invent a new product.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Explain the first four steps in the design process.
• List three things that are needed for the planning step.
• Name three materials available to make the picture holder.
• Explain the difference between a pro and a con.

ACTIVITIES

• Learn the steps in the design process.
• Begin the steps of the design process.
• Follow the steps of the design process.
• Write a report telling about the picture holder.

DESCRIPTION

In Electricity, students explore circuits, see magnets producing electricity, and create static electricity.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Name the two charges on a battery terminal and give their symbols.
• Name the two types of electrical circuits.
• Give two examples of a conductor.
• Give two examples of an insulator.

ACTIVITIES

• Create and use a generator and a motor.
• Use alligator clips and create series and parallel circuits.
• Test materials to determine what are good insulators and what are good conductors.
• Create an electric motor.
• Work with static electricity.

DESCRIPTION

In Engineering, students learn about designing, building, and testing parts of structures. They learn that structures are made from parts arranged in a definite pattern and that structures are designed to serve a purpose.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Explain the difference between compression and tension forces.
• Explain the difference between a strut and a tie.
• Name two geometric shapes that are strong.
• Name two natural forces that can cause structural damage.

ACTIVITIES

• Build four truss frames.
• Design and build the diagonal bracing in the truss frames.
• Test the strength of each truss with the truss tester.
• Evaluate the performance of each truss and retest them.

DESCRIPTION

In Microscopes, students learn the history of the microscope. Students also learn the parts of the microscope and use a microscope to study a human hair. Students learn about magnification and compare animal cells and plant cells.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Explain what might happen if they lower the lens while looking through the microscope.
• Explain the difference between a light microscope and an electron microscope.
• Explain how to determine a microscope’s total magnification.
• Describe the proper method for focusing a microscope.

ACTIVITIES

• Learn the history of microscopes.
• Learn the parts of a microscope.
• Use a microscope with three powers of magnification to view a human hair.
• Prepare and view wet- and dry-mount slides.
• Compare animal cells and plant cells.

DESCRIPTION

In Rocketry, students design, build, and test straw rockets. Students determine the best design for a rocket so it lands in a specific target area.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Show how to adjust the trajectory and thrust on the rocket launcher.
• Explain if a higher trajectory angle always makes the rocket go farther.
• Explain at what trajectory angle the rocket begins decreasing the distance it will travel.
• Explain how the wrong amount of thrust combined with the correct trajectory setting can cause a target to be missed.

ACTIVITIES

• Design and build team straw rockets.
• Launch the rockets and record the data collected.
• Design and build individual rockets.
• Launch the individual rockets and begin a redesign of the same rocket.
• Launch the redesigned rockets and compare the data collected.

DESCRIPTION

Skyscrapers enables students to test their building skills. Students create a skyscraper based on the need to communicate after a crash landing on a distant planet.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

• Define horizontal.
• Define vertical.
• Explain what the footprint of a structure is.
• Explain why a limited budget can affect the materials used to build a structure.

ACTIVITIES

• Build a tower using blocks.
• Build a tower of cards and determine cost and efficiency.
• Plan a tower and create a bill of materials.
• Gather the materials and build the tower.
• Improve the design and build a new tower.