After making our own version of the story “Three Billy Goats Gruff” and turning it into a “Vicuñita´s Story” we decided to challenge the children even more by applying a S.T.E.M based activity.
S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math’s) is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning. We focus on these areas together because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success and also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively.
We asked the children to build the same bridge that is mentioned in the story, using three different types of blocks. These bridges would have to hold a vicuña and be tall enough to fit a hunter underneath. To help us with the building knowledge required to make a bridge, we invited Mr. Ale, Nacho Jordana´s grandpa who works as a civil engineer. He patiently explained us how bridges were made and we explored the mathematical aspect of the construction. The children began making abstract measurements and encountering problems such as…how will the vicuña go up the bridge? The key element in this activity was TEAM WORK and collaborative thinking.
And as the year and our project came to an end, we thought there was no better way than to share this with the parents. We invited them to our open class to experience what their children had done with S.T.E.M. They built bridges using recycling material and worked in teams. The results were AMAZING!