Sixth grade classes at Nassakeag Elementary School in the Three Village Central School District recently engaged in a hands-on STEM lesson where they collaborated to create their own cities using KEVA Planks. The activity is part of the Essential Cities curriculum, which is a prelude to the sixth grade science unit on cells.
Students were given the scenario that a catastrophic event took place and all that was left was a flat terrain of land. The land was not able to be used for farming, and students were not able to use any water in their cities besides the rainwater gathered during a storm. The sixth graders needed to decide which sustainable buildings were considered essential in their cities and after a group discussion they decided on including a command center, large control building, small workshops, multi-use storage carts, solar panels, a water reservoir, a power plant, walls and gates. Students worked together to plan their cities using the platform Jamboard, before bringing the cities to life with the KEVA Planks.
Each sixth grade class became a community and designed their plots on an assigned table to represent the flat terrain. After planning, students were given the constraint of receiving only 20 planks each, which are all the same shape and size, to build their structures. They worked in small groups to create their buildings using the available resources, while figuring out placement, angles and the area of their space. The entire project took place over the course of five days.
The Essential Cities activity promoted teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking. Students learned about sustainability and cultivated their problem-solving skills while engaging in hands-on learning.
Date Added: 11/17/2022