StoryBots Summer STEM Challenge: Cars

stem challenge rounded corners.png

Cars are cool! Especially cars that you make yourself.

We had our StoryBots take this STEM Challenge and you’re gonna love what they came up with. The best part? It’s a STEM Challenge that anyone can complete!

Challenge: Create a cardboard tube car and design it’s power source.

Let’s look at what you need, the instructions…then let’s check out our results!

step 1.png

Step 1: Find some rolls

Grab some cardboard paper rolls (aka toilet paper rolls). I grabbed five since I was going to make one for each StoryBot! This is the first step because I always forget to save them…just give yourself some time to collect these.

Step 2.png

Step 2: Gather Supplies

Get the supplies…don’t limit yourself to traditional
items! Maker spaces need the most random things. I used markers, glue, pipe cleaners, and construction paper.

Painted Rolls.png

Step 3: Paint

Paint the rolls your favorite color! I painted one tube for each StoryBot!

Step 4: Create an opening

cardboard-roll-cut-lines.png

đŸ‘©â€đŸ‘§Â This is a grown-up job.

Using scissors or a craft knife, cut out three sides of a rectangle, leaving one side intact. Fold the flap inwards and secure with a paperclip.

Step 5: Design Your Engine!

Here’s where the planning comes in. What powers your car? We decided each StoryBots’ car would probably be powered by something different. Take a look at what we came up with. Hopefully these will inspire your own creations!

Beep Driving Car with details.png

  • Name: Beep
  • Favorite Color: Green
  • Powered by: Curiosity 🔎

Bang Driving Car.png

  • Name: Bang
  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Powered by: MusicÂ đŸŽ¶

Bing Driving Car

  • Name: Bing
  • Favorite Color: Yellow
  • Powered by: Pizza 🍕

Boop Driving Car.png

  • Name: Boop
  • Favorite Color: Red
  • Powered by: Grumpy Power ☂

Bo Driving Her Car corners.png

  • Name: Bo
  • Favorite Color: RAINBOW
  • Powered by: Sparkles!!! 🩄

transparent cars.png

What’s gonna power your car? Carrots? Cats? Combs? Let’s us know and use the #summerSTEMchallenge on Instagram and Twitter! Don’t forget to tag us, @StoryBots!

Hope your summer is full of curiosity, questions, and some really silly songs.

Ask the StoryBots and StoryBots Super Songs are streaming all-summer on Netflix. Check it out!

stem challenge rounded corners

A StoryBots feature retires…

Happy Retirement

We’re giving a warm goodbye to our Lesson Planner feature. It’s been fun while it lasted, but it’s time for it to get into gardening and reading for leisure.

For those of you who don’t know, the Lesson Planner was a way to send home selected content with students. Teachers would make a lesson and students would complete the activity at home…but it needed some improvement

So we turned to YOU, our smartest StoryBots team member.

Designed with feedback from classroom teachers, we’re launching a brand new feature to help educators select meaningful content for home use. You’ll be able to share the same books, videos, and activities that you play in class, directly to student’s parents.

And just as always, StoryBots Classroom is 100% free for educators.

Stay tuned for more updates. 🎉

Cheers,

Raffi, StoryBots

 

What Does the StoryBots Team Do Over the Summer?

storybots summer

Attention Teachers! We know you’ve got a million things to do over the summer. I know, I know. People think you just sit around with a grown-up juice-box, but we know the truth… you get ready for next year! Hopefully you’ll have time to relax and unwind before Back-to-School 2017. Check out the video below to see what we’ll be up to!

Join the StoryBots Teacher Panel to learn more about our resources!

Teacher Panel Embedded Badge

Let’s Make Spinning StoryBot Flyers

In the StoryBots Episode “How Do Airplanes Fly?” we found that *spoiler alert* airplanes fly using four forces: thrust, drag, lift, and weight.

Let’s make some spinning flyers that help us understand the magic of flight…also they’re just really fun to throw!

Print

Print out the StoryBots Spinning Flyers Printable. Try printing it on different types of paper to test out different flyers. We tried card stock and regular printer paper in my experiment.

download and print.png

Cut

Cut on the solid lines only. Don’t cut the dotted lines.

cut it out 2.png

 

Fold

Fold the bottom in and up. Then make sure you fold the wings out in opposite directions.

fold the spinner

Take your flyer to a high spot and drop, or just see who can throw it the furthest. How long does it take to land? Can you add paperclips to make it spin more? Can you make it lighter? Ask some more questions and do some investigation yourself!

Did you miss this episode (or let’s be honest, wanna rewatch it?). StoryBots is streaming now Netflix!

Follow StoryBots on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube for some summer fun inspiration!

 

Encourage Learning All Summer

brain drain template

Every year students hit the pool, the beach, or the couch…but the books go to the back burner. It’s really easy to take an extended break from learning over the summer, but it really adds up! Most students lose about two to three months of reading skills and about two months of math skills. That’s a lot of catching up to do in the fall.

Thankfully, we’ve got some tips for helping your students keep their noggins fresh over summer.parents

  1. Read Every Day – StoryBots’ library of interactive Starring You Books makes a great daily routine to help practice fluency, rhyme, and common sight words. Plus the pages come to life with sound, animation, and your child’s face. Since they can be played on iPad or a laptop, they are a great bedtime helper.
  2. Learn Something New Our library of Learning Videos contains bite-sized info on everything from aerodynamics to computer engineering to George Washington Carver. Watch a video together, then research the topic at your library or online.
  3. Math Games – StoryBots Classroom offers ready-to-go, core-aligned kindergarten Math Games for practice. Ask you teacher what math skills they recommend for practice and encourage them to enable Math Games over the summer!

Teachers

  1. Read Every Day – StoryBots’ library of interactive Starring You Books makes a great daily routine to help practice fluency, rhyme, and common sight words. Plus the pages come to life with sound, animation, and students’ own faces.
  2. Learn Something New – Our library of Learning Videos contains bite-sized info on everything from aerodynamics to computer engineering to George Washington Carver. Encourage students to watch a video at least once a week to stay curious.
  3. Math Games – StoryBots Classroom offers ready-to-go, core-aligned kindergarten Math Lesson Plans that are perfect for keeping your outgoing class practicing. It only takes a few minutes to send home a summer of learning. See our tutorial below!

How to Assign Summer Homework:

1. Go to Lesson Planner in your Teacher’s Lounge and click “Create Lesson

2. Use the drop down menu to select skills. Scroll down to check sub-skills.

3. Preview your lesson, review the order, then save your lesson.

4. Assign your lesson to students. Set the due date towards the end of summer break. You can also email parents or print letters home directly from this screen.

 

Teachers, want to share with your squad? Download this flyer to help your entire school encourage learning all summer!

download the teacher flyer

 

Countdown to Summer with StoryBots

10, 9, 8… days left until summer (but who’s counting?). Download the StoryBots Countdown Calendar 2017 to celebrate each day with a different StoryBots Classroom activity. Print out the calendar, cut the front flaps, then glue or staple to the back piece. Each day surprise students with a new activity. Try StoryBots during morning meeting, story time, or right before dismissal!

pablo (26)

Download the StoryBots Summer Countdown 2017

 

Let’s Make Cosmic Sun Catchers

 

It’s your time to shine… and decorate your windows with these Cosmic Sun Catchers. I made mine with using contact paper, but you can also make these using the traditional glue/water mixture and wax paper. If you’re using our method, here’s what you need:

Step 1: Print out the template that you’ll be using. For my example, I’ll be making the Sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 2: Tape the template to a flat surface and roll out contact paper, sticky side up. Then tape down the edges.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 3: Cut out tissue paper into small squares and cover the entire template area.

giphy (23)

Step 4: Place another piece of contact paper onto the sun catcher, this time sticky-side down.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 5: Using the template as a guide, trim your sun catcher.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 6: Attach the eyes and mouth (For some characters, it’s easier to draw a mouth on with a marker). I also decided to cut out red triangles for the sun’s outline and sprinkle on some red “solar flares”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

tadaaaaa sun

Ta-daaa! Use double-stick tape to attach your creation to the window. Our template pack includes four stars, the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon. Craft them all to create a celestial scene!

Earth, Moon, Sun

 

Need a little cosmic inspiration? Check out our hit video “We Are the Planets”.