“Synergy is things working together,” explained Jake Somoza, a fifth grader at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School.
Synergy is the concept Jake and his classmates learned in their Young Scholars classroom as part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Integration program, a pilot program offered by the Gifted and Talented program at the WSWHE BOCES.
Students worked in teams in this science-based lesson, building the various systems in the human body. The project, “Let’s Build a Humanoid!” promoted problem solving and critical thinking, as students worked together to research, brainstorm, and develop their particular system in the human body and to concentrate on the synergy found within the body.
With the guidance of teachers, Mrs. Shippee and Mrs. Winters, along with SIP instructor, Kathy Clark, the students had to determine what body parts went with their system, and the function and physical characteristics of each. Then students were asked to make the connections between the parts: how they have to work together in a synergistic manner. Using recycled materials, from wire donated from the WSWHE BOCES Technology department to empty altoid containers, the students began bringing their ideas to life and worked together to create the systems for the class’s humanoid.
Student Hanna Pecora explained the careful thought that went into working on the elements of the palm of the hand and the work her group had to do with the muscular system group. She continued, “We had to look at the designs and structure of the muscle group, because they would need to attach some of the muscles to our skeletal system.”
Not only did this project give students an understanding of the concept of synergy, but they also received a deeper understanding of the human body and the systems within the human body. All students in fifth grade begin to study the human body, but not to the depth of the students’ in the young scholars program.
After the construction of their Humanoid is complete, the Young Scholars students will be creating lesson plans to share what they have learned with other students. The humanoid will then be displayed on January 25 (snow date January 26) at the Gick Road Conference Center, along with six other Young Scholars classes.
The “Let’s Build a Humaniod!” project is part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Integration Program (SIP) that promotes a vision of students’ literate in these fields. SIP is designed to be received by component districts through three different cooperative services; Gifted and Talented Education (Young Scholars), THINK Series (afterschool programming), or Exploratory Enrichment (during the school day). SIP offers programming in the following disciplines: Nanotechnology, Engineering, Global Connections, Robotics, Mathematics, Biotechnology, and Green Technologies.