The current sixth grade STEM unit on cells continues our year-long curriculum designed to give students a window into the inner workings of their own minds and bodies. As the students learned in their first semester unit on memory, first-hand, tactile experience and problem-solving strengthen neural pathways. That’s why they’ve been hard at work, synthesizing and demonstrating their knowledge through creative projects, experimentation, and exploration.
Students have been busy constructing analogy representations of cells and organelles, comparing these structures and functions to large-scale systems like cities, rocket ships, basketball teams, and even the Greek gods. Diving deeper into cell membranes, they are now beginning to learn about polarity, transport, and selective permeability by experimenting with their own “soap bubble membranes.”
“Science labs and creative projects provide a wonderful opportunity to teach about observation and exploration,” says STEM teacher Evan Spiler. “Our labs provide specific insights, but always include room for students to ask their own questions, design further experiments, and test new hypotheses. With open-ended experimentation, everyone can learn from each other and be reminded that joyfulness and play are important ways we test our ideas and learn about our world and ourselves.”