Introduction: 5 Day STEAM Camp

Picture of 5 Day STEAM Camp

The International School of Aruba partnered with the Aruban government to host a 5 day STEAM Camp for local students to attend for free on the island. The theme of the camp was "Water is Life" in order to stress the importance of water for survival as well as how limited the resource is.

The government was willing to finance the camp for 7,500 AFL (approximately $4000 USD) including materials and food for 60 students (the school supplied 30 Chromebooks for the camp). Each step below includes detailed daily activities for you to adapt this camp for your home. At the end of the camp, we invited the parents on campus for a Student Exposition in order for the students to share their learning (parent letter attached). The Google Slide presentations are available in English and Dutch (most of the local schools in Aruba teach in Dutch).

Check out the Google Doc Lesson Book for the daily activities all in one document and the cumulative materials list. Feel free to copy, change and share to fit your students. Happy planning!

Final Products:

  • terrarium aquarium (in pairs, need 60 bottles)
  • 3D Water Cycle (in pairs, need 30 boxes)
  • water purifier (in group of 4, researched based)
  • water turbine (in group of 4, options on powerpoint)
  • Google Slide Presentation (in pairs)
  • Optional: Infographic about terrarium aquarium (in pairs)
  • Optional: “Water is Life” Interpretive Poster (individual or in pairs)

Step 1: Key Ideas & Tips

Key Ideas

  • Students will understand the importance of water for survival as well as how scarce water has become.
  • Students will understand that although water is moves through a cycle, there is a limited amount of water on Earth.
  • Students will think and design ways to help ensure there is enough water for all.

Reminders

  • Try to keep main vocabulary in English
  • All cyber investigations will be done in pairs
  • To have the videos work in the Google Slide, you must present the slides in Incognito Window
    • Click “Share” on the Google Slide presentation
    • Copy the “Shareable Link”
    • On Safari window go to “File”
    • Click “New Incognito Window”
    • Paste the link into the url bar

Step 2: Day 1, Water for Survival

Picture of Day 1, Water for Survival

9:00AM - 9:20AM Opening (Full Group)

  • Materials:
    • Name tags
    • sharpies
  1. Introduce each of the teachers
  2. Create name tags (may already have them made)
  3. Speak about the week’s activities
  4. Separate into classes

9:20AM - 9:35AM Setting the Stage (Full Class)

  • Materials:
    • Computer
    • Projector
    • speakers
    • Glass of water
  1. Show students an actual glass of water (or water filled bottle). Ask students if they know how long they can go without drinking water. Generate a list of the answers.
  2. Show the Google Slides presentation (the lessons/activities for the full day are described here for the students).
  3. Show video segment What Would Happen If You Didn’t Drink Water (5 minutes) (embedded in the Google Slide). Tell students that today we are investigating why water is important to us, where it can be found, and how we use it.

9:35AM – 9:55AMFact or Fiction Activity (Full Class)

  • Materials:
    • Computer
    • Projector
  1. In this activity the students will decide whether the statement in the Google Slide is True or False. Designate a side of the room to be True and False. Read each statement aloud and have the students decide whether it is true or false by moving towards the correct side of the room.

9:55AM - 10:15AM How Much Water Activity (Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • Computer for each pair
  1. Direct the students to this website to discover how much water they use for basic everyday activities (shortened URL in powerpoint). Make sure to show the students what a “gallon” of water is. (~4 liters)

10:15AM – 10:30AM Break

10:30AM – 11:00AM Ecosystem Introduction (Full Class)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
  1. Introduce the topic of Ecosystems to the students using the Google Slide presentation. The presentation will introduce the basic parts of an ecosystem as well as different types.
  2. Discussion Questions:
    1. Discuss similarities and differences of various ecosystems.
    2. Why are certain species more suitable for a particular ecosystem?
    3. What type of ecosystems exist in Aruba?
  3. Watch the video in the Google Slide presentation on Aquatic Ecosystems (3:35).

11:00AM – 11:30AM Cyber Investigation: Make a Mangrove (In Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
  1. Introduce the students to mangroves by showing the video of Aruba’s Mangroves (13 seconds) embedded in the presentation.
  2. Direct the students to this website to discover the relationship between various populations in a Mangrove(shortened URL in powerpoint). The main idea of the game is for the students to introduce 5 populations of organisms into the mangroves to see if the ecosystem is sustainable.
  3. Have students working in pairs to create their own ecosystem to last for 12 days Discuss what factors may cause a certain population to die or to be healthy.

11:30AM – 12:20PM Lunch

12:20AM – 1:40PM Engineering Challenge: Terrarium Aquarium (Group Size: 2)

  • Materials
    • 2-2 liter bottles per group
    • One bottle cap
    • Nail to put hole in bottle cap
    • Hammer
    • Strip of fabric per student
    • Scissors
    • Markers
    • Water
    • Soil
    • Elodea (water plant)
    • Clear duct tape
    • Shrimps
    • Grass seeds
    • Sand
  1. In this activity, students will be creating their own aquatic/terrestrial ecosystem. By creating an Aquarium Terrarium, students will have an opportunity to observe the interactions between soil, water, and air. They will also observe the development of aquatic and terrestrial plants, as well as exploring the components of the water cycle (to be discussed tomorrow).
  2. Show the video embedded into the Google Slide (1:04) about the terrarium about the terrarium that existed without being watered for 45 years. Describe the difference between a terrarium and aquarium. During the time today, the students will be cutting their 2 liter bottles in order to set up the terrarium & aquarium tomorrow. If time permits, have the students continue with the procedure.

1:40PM – 1:50PM Clean Up & Reflection

1:50PM - 2:00PM Dismiss to Buses

Step 3: Day 2, Water Cycle

Picture of Day 2, Water Cycle

9:00AM - 9:15AM Opening

  1. Welcome students to the second day
  2. Have students share what they learned from yesterday, and their ideas for their own ecosystem

9:15AM – 9:40AM Different Stages of Water Cycle (In Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
  1. Project the Google Slide Presentation for Day 2. Direct the students to this website to discover the different stages of water (shortened URL in powerpoint). The main idea of the activity is for the students to realize water is not just in liquid form and how to change it into the different forms.
  2. Using the Google Slide presentation, introduce the different stages of the water cycle. Direct the students to the Water Cycle Game to have a chance to practice the vocabulary and visualize the different stages of the water cycle (shortened URL in powerpoint).

9:40AM – 10:00 AM Cyber Investigation of Climate Change (In Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
  1. Begin the discussion about climate change. Have the students brainstorm answers to the following questions:
    1. What is climate change & what causes it?
    2. How would climate change affect the water cycle?
  2. Using the NASA Climate Kids Time Machine app, investigate the effects of climate change throughout time to sea ice, sea level, carbon emissions, average global temperatures.

10:00AM – 10:15AM Introduce: 3D Model of Water Cycle (in Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • cardboard boxes
    • plastic wrap
    • balls styrofoam
    • markers
    • paint
    • aluminum foil
    • cotton
    • recycled materials
    • scissors
    • glue
    • paper
    • felt
  1. Introduce the goal and guidelines for the 3D model of the Water Cycle. Students will use a cardboard box for their structure.
    1. Task: To create a 3D model of the water cycle.
    2. Guidelines:
      1. All 5 stages must be present
      2. Your model must be 3 dimensional
      3. Use a variety of materials that are available

10:15AM – 10:30AM Break

10:30AM – 11:30AM Create: 3D Model of Water Cycle (Groups of 2)

  • Materials:
    • cardboard
    • plastic wrap
    • balls styrofoam
    • markers paint
    • aluminum foil
    • cotton
    • recycled materials
    • scissors
    • glue
    • paper
  1. Have students draft a preliminary sketch of their 3D model noting the materials they would like to use.
  2. Students will work on creating their 3D Model of the Water Cycle. Make sure the students label each of the stages.

11:30AM – 12:20PM Lunch

12:20PM – 1:40PM Engineering Challenge: Terrarium Aquarium

  • Materials:
    • posterboard
    • markers
  1. Students should finish creating their own ecosystem (to be complete today).
  2. 3D Model of Water Cycle: Finish working on their 3D Model (to be complete today).
  3. Additional Activity, Infographic: Students will design an infographic in order to describe their terrarium aquarium. The infographic will be on half a poster board and must include information & visuals about specific process inside ecosystem. Students can label each of the layers and state the importance. Example infographic linked here.

1:40PM – 1:50PM Cleanup & Wrap Up

1:50PM - 2:00PM Dismiss to Buses

Step 4: ​Day 3, Let’s Help

Picture of ​Day 3, Let’s Help

9:00AM - 9:15AM Opening

  1. Welcome students to the second day
  2. Have students share what they learned from yesterday, and their understanding of the water cycle
  3. Have the students answer three trivia questions:
    1. What is the step of the water cycle when the water goes back into the clouds? Evaporation
    2. How many steps are there in the water cycle? Five
    3. Precipitation includes rain and snow. True

9:15AM – 9:35AM Physical Water Scarcity Activity (Full Class)

  • Materials:
    • water bottle
    • 7 disposable cups
    • Larger cup
    • sharpie
  1. Project the Google Slide Presentation for Day 3.
  2. The activity will be done as a teacher demonstration
  3. Preparation:
    • Label the large water bottle as “Population” to represent the people of the Middle East
    • Label the larger cup as “Resources” to represent the water available in the region
    • Label 4 disposable cups as “Agricultural Needs” [you need more agricultural cups because the largest portion of water in the Middle East is used toward agriculture]
    • Label 2 disposable cups as “Industrial Needs”
    • Label 1 disposable cup as “Human Needs”
  4. Have the students choose which “Need” cups to fill with water from the “Resources” measuring cup. Because of scarcity, water use is carefully allotted and conserved. Some cups will be half full while others are totally full. Students must choose where to put their resources and be able to rationalize their choices.
  5. Complete the chart showing their choices on the board.
  6. After using their “resources” to fill the “need” cups, students should then empty the “need” cups into the “Population” water bottle. Students should answer the Observation and Reflection questions.
    • Observations: Did your population have enough water to fill the water bottle? Explain.
    • Reflections: How did you decide to fill your paper cups? What would it mean if you were only able to provide half the agriculture resources needed? Industrial resources? Human resources? Reflect on the activity

9:35AM - 10:00AM Clean Water: Presentation / Facts & Figures (Full Class)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
  1. Using the Google Slide presentation, explain to the students the severity of water scarcity.
  2. Watch the video (1:02) of one child’s experience getting water.
  3. For each of the facts presented in the Google Slide, select students to stand in front of the class to represent the figure. For example, 1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water: Select 9 students to stand in front of the class and then explain that one of the students did not have a chance to drink a glass or water today.

10:00AM – 10:15AM Google Slides Demonstration (In Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
  1. Students will be introduced to Google Slides in order to make their own presentation after break
  2. Teacher will demonstrate the following skills:
    • Add new slide
    • Add text & lists
    • Change theme
    • Add image

10:15AM – 10:30AM Break

10:30AM – 11:30AM How Can You Help? Google Slide Creation (In Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
  1. Students will create a Google Slide presentation answering the following question: How can you conserve water indoors, outside, and at school?
  2. Students must include:
    • Title slide
    • Colorful theme
    • Bullets
    • Images
    • At least 4 slides

11:30AM – 12:20PM Lunch

12:20PM – 1:40PM Engineering Challenge, Water Purifier: Plan & Share (In Groups of 4)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
    • sand
    • paper
    • towels
    • gravel
    • coffee filters
    • cotton
    • containers
    • recycled materials
  1. Show the students the first image of the child filling a bucket with dirty water. Ask: What do you think the child is going to do with that water? Why do you think the child is collecting that water? What do you think could happen if that water is used? What is your feeling when you see that picture?
  2. Show the second picture of the child drinking clean water and ask the students about their emotions.
  3. Show the video of a water purification technique (1:17) then describe the task.
  4. Students will begin the Engineering Challenge by doing research on the type of system they want to use. Explain that students must work as a team to design a filtration system to remove as much dirt or sediment from a provided water supply. The team with the clearest resulting water (based on a visual inspection) will have developed the best filter in the class.
  5. As a class brainstorm the keywords needed to be searched on Google and write them on the board. Students meet and develop a plan for their filtration system, including a list of all materials they require for construction. Sample plan can be found here.
  6. Student teams draw their plan and present their plan to the class. Students may adjust their plan based on feedback received at this stage. Their plan must include a drawing and detailed materials list. If the students have time, the student teams build their filtration system. They may determine that additional materials are needed to complete this step. If so, they need to indicate the new materials and quantity on their design worksheet.

1:35PM – 1:50PM Reflection & Wrap Up

1:50PM - 2:00PM Dismiss to Buses

Step 5: ​Day 4, Water As Energy Source

Picture of ​Day 4, Water As Energy Source

9:00AM - 9:15AM Opening

  1. Welcome students to the second day
  2. Have students share what they learned from yesterday, and their ideas for their own water purifier

9:15AM – 9:30AM Setting the Stage (Full Class)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
  1. Project the Google Slide Presentation for Day 4
  2. Watch the video: Hydroelectric (2:08) to give the students a visual of a real world hydroelectric system.
  3. Review the main idea of the video to ensure the students understood the concept.
  4. Next watch a simple model created by a teenager (1:06) to show the students the basic idea of how the system works.

9:30AM – 10:15AM Cyber Investigation: Water Power (In Pairs)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
  1. During this exploration, students will observe how varying the distance that water falls and the volume of water impacts the amount of electricity produced by hydroelectric power in order to recognize that hydroelectric power uses the energy of falling water to produce electricity and to describe the effects of head height (the distance water falls) and water volume on the amount of electricity produced by hydroelectric power.
  2. Review the parts of the hydropower system (from the Google Slide) and how to complete the exploration Explain how students should proceed: Read the questions before starting the Exploration.
  3. Record their findings / answer the questions in their STEM Notebook
  4. Talk about the Discussion Questions in the Powerpoint

10:15AM – 10:30AM Break

10:30AM – 11:30AM Creating a Water Turbine (In Groups of 4)

  • Materials:
    • computer
    • projector
    • computer for each pair of students
    • cups
    • spoons
    • plates
    • styrofoam
    • bottle caps
    • tape
    • straw
    • skewers
    • pie plates
    • scissors
    • glue
  1. This will be a challenge for teams to create water turbine blades to create enough motion to pull up a weight. On the slide in the presentation there are many different designs for the students to choose from (or they can choose to research some designs as well).
  2. As a class, brainstorm the general parts to a water turbine: the blades axes to spin on Give the students approximately 15 minutes to brainstorm by drawing a quick sketch of their turbine and listing their supplies. Students can use any material leftover in the room. Students must finish building their model by lunchtime. Example Water Turbine or Water Wheel

11:30AM – 12:20PM Lunch

12:20PM - 12:45PM Test Water Turbines

  • Materials:
    • string
    • weight
  1. Attach a string to the end of the dowel and then tie the weight to it. See if the students water turbine generates enough energy to lift the weight by putting the turbine under running water.

12:45PM – 1:45PM Build Water Purifier (In Pairs)

  1. Student teams will continue/begin to build their filtration system. They may determine that additional materials are needed to complete this step. If so, they need to indicate the new materials and quantity on their design worksheet. Student teams will test their system with the muddy water to see if their system cleans the water. Remind the students that the water is still unsafe to drink!

1:45PM – 2:00PM Cleanup & Wrap Up

Step 6: Day 5, Share Your Learning

Picture of Day 5, Share Your Learning

9:00AM - 9:15AM Opening

  • Explain the schedule of the day and the deadlines to the students.

9:15AM - 11:30AM Finishing Touches

  • Materials:
    • poster
    • markers
    • pencils
    • paper
  1. Project the Google Slide Presentation for Day 5
  2. During this time, the students will need to finish their final products of the following:
    • terrarium aquarium
    • 3D Water Cycle
    • water purifier
    • water turbine
    • Google Slide Presentation
    • Optional: Infographic about terrarium aquarium
  3. If all five products are finished, students will work on one final poster to summarize their learning.The theme of the poster will be: “Water is Life” Students can choose what to incorporate on this poster. Some ideas include: How does water help our bodies? Why should people care about water scarcity? If the student would like & the teacher feels it is possible, have the student work on Canva to make an Infographic of the information to hand to the parents.

11:30AM – 12:20PM Lunch

12:20PM – 1:30PM Set up Presentation space

1:30PM – 3:00PM Student Exposition

  1. Invite parents and community to campus to view the student work. Have the students display their work and stand with their work to discuss their learning with the community.

Step 7: After-Movie of STEAM Camp 2017

I hope that these daily plans were helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the resources!

Comments

PieterVerduijn (author)2017-10-04

Awesome!

Swansong (author)2017-09-25

It looks like the kids had a lot of fun! This kind of camp is a fun idea :)

tmontenarello (author)Swansong2017-09-25

Thank you! It was a blast. This was our second camp like this. I am glad to give the students the opportunity to learn with activities that are interactive and problem based!