Splendora students put to the test with real-world problems

Piney Woods students were made into astronauts for a class project that had them "fixing their spaceship."

Fifth graders at Piney Woods Elementary participated in real-world problem solving last week when their teacher made them chefs, astronauts, and engineers. Fifth grade math and science teacher Jessica Keith taught the properties of matter, magnetism, solubility, conductors, insulators, mass, and density and gave students the opportunity to use their new skills.

To give the lesson more depth, students were given different problems that needed to be solved by using the new knowledge they had learned. One group of students served as chefs who lost all their ingredient labels in their pantry.

The chefs used their understanding of solubility and chemical reactions to find the correct ingredients for their cakes. Using conductors and insulators, the astronauts found an important wire to fix their spaceship. The last group were design engineers who had to create a recycling facility that would separate iron out of the piles of items that come through the plant.

“This type of lesson lends itself nicely to the type of learners we want to create: self motivated, confident, adaptable, critical thinkers, and productive citizens,” said Piney Woods Elementary School Principal Heath Lucas.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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