This has been a very busy and exciting week. The students have been working on their bridge projects in order to learn about the scientific method. They are spending a lot of their time in groups building the "best earthquake bridge" using glue, toothpicks, straws, and cardboard. This is the "designing/testing the experiment" phase of the scientific method. They have been very enthusiastic, but there are a few groups who are really struggling to believe in themselves and realize that they can indeed build a bridge out of these materials.
It has been interesting to see how my two non-English speaking students have been interacting with their group members. At first, they seemed segregated from their group, but eventually became more involved and even gave them the idea that really got their bridge blueprint going. Also, I have students with autism that are building their own bridges while working with a group. These students seem to be interested in making a bridge out of toothpicks, but seem a little out of touch with the goal of the project. I am hoping that when they finally get to test their bridges they will understand why we worked on this project for so long.
Open House was this past Tuesday. It was definitely a memorable experience. I ran into one of my students with autism. He is high functioning and very social. He ran up to me with his mother and introduced me to her. He also told me something I will never forget. He said, "Miss Hatcher, you know, out of all of the interns here you are the one who has shown the MOST IMPROVEMENT!". Man, do I love this child. What a statement! I couldn't stop grinning the rest of the evening.
Next week, the students will get to test their bridges and begin working on their video conclusions! I can't wait for this part of the project!