Spotlight on Boulder Valley SD – Mars Biosphere
School District: Boulder Valley
School: Monarch K-8
Grade Level: 5th Grade
Awesome Educators: Ali Graham, Kristen Reiley, and Clifford Roberts
Amazing things are happening in 5th grade at Monarch K-8 in Boulder Valley school District. This team of teachers integrated science, math, STEAM, coding, and more to create a learning challenge their students will not soon forget.
Fifth grade students started this project by learning coordinate planes and graphing in math. They then applied that knowledge to create the grids on their posters.
Next, they had to make a biosphere on Mars. It had to include multiple different types of ecosystems including a farm. Students were able to plot the locations on their grids.
Then, groups chose animals that would live in those places and made a food web to focus on additional science concepts.
Finally, came SAM Labs. They had to design a robot that would travel to each of the different biomes and collect some sort of data (humidity, pressure, temp, etc). They mapped the coordinates they wanted the robot to go to and used Blockly, block-based coding, to make this happen.
Multiple standards were learned and assessed, 21st century skills were honed, and joy was had by all!
Shaunda Douglas is a former educator with over 15 years of experience in all levels of education. In her free time, she reads, plays with her dogs, watches baseball, and loves a good nap.