5th graders at Statham Elementary are integrating Science, Social Studies, Math, Engineering, and Art in a STEAM Project Based Learning Unit based in the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Through a series of lessons, hands-on group activities, and live streaming collaborations with high school construction associates from the Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology, students have been working towards their goal of designing and constructing, and testing prototype houses with fallout shelters similar to those that became common during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Students were given specific limiting factors and goals to achieve.  The students then began working in teams to creatively apply a number of Scientific and Engineering Practices along with several Standards of Mathematical Practice to the historical context and engineering challenge.


Here is an outline of the STEAM Engineering Challenge.

Below is the interactive live stream that the 5th graders had with the Sims Academy Construction teacher, Clint Deeton, and a few of his associates.  They were very impressed with the blueprints drawn by the Statham students.  Mr. Deeton and his associates shared some of their experiences with blueprints and building projects, and how they have to pay very special attention to careful measurement, precision, and detail.

Here are a few student comments from students engaged in the STEAM project.

Once the project wraps up, hopefully we can get some pictures of their finished homes, shelters, and catapults to share here as well. 

As always, if you are interested in this STEAM project or have some innovative ideas and projects of your own, we would love to hear about it.  Just contact the BCSS STEAM Integration Specialist, or leave a comment below.