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As part of the science curriculum, 4th grade students at Veterans Park School recently completed a unit that led them on a journey of discovery about natural disasters. Students explored the impact natural disasters can have both on humans and the environment; prompting research regarding how engineering can provide preventative measures, as well as solutions, if and when, a natural disaster occurs.
During directed class time, using a Google Presentation, students learned about plate tectonics, protecting people and the environment, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and landslides; continuing independent research on their own. Several students researched topics that were not discussed in class, such as winter storms, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.
As the project unfolded students were given a checklist, note-taking sheet, and a list of links they could use for their research. After choosing their topic and completing the research piece of the project students decided whether they wanted to create a POSTER or a GOOGLE PRESENTATION to present their research findings. Students were also instructed that an additional requirement was to create a 3D model of their natural disaster using their choice of materials (i.e. clay, legos, paper mache, etc.).
When the projects were complete all 4th grade science classes participated in a web walk where they viewed all of the projects; completing disaster webs for each of the disasters represented. During the walks, students linked new thoughts and important ideas they learned to each disaster. When returning to their classrooms students participated in discussions about the new information they had learned.
According to Mrs. Erica Marsh, 4th grade teacher, “Students and teachers enjoyed this project as it gave them the opportunity to learn new, and interesting facts, about natural disasters. The 3D models were amazing and included exploding volcanoes, spinning tornadoes, and moving landslides! We were so proud of what everyone accomplished!”
Students and staff welcome you to view the photos and video below that highlights this amazing project.