This past January, our grade 3 students were presented with the problem of Algae blooms polluting our oceans. In the video below, you will see Rowntree Montessori School students with various devices that they created to filter out algae blooms from our oceans. Algae blooms are a result of charred vegetation, ash and soot that get washed into the water bodies. This, in turn, compromises the quality of the water.
Presenting students with an opportunity to stretch their thinking, use the engineering and design process to come up with solutions to problems that occur from natural disasters is a great example of cross-curricular teaching and the use of critical thinking skills
With real world STEM challenges, students enrich their critical thinking and collaboration skills whilst they learn to apply their knowledge to problem solve. This exercise is extended outside of the classroom and into the greater world around them.