S.T.E.A.M. Room January 2018

Where do you go when it starts to snow?

This was the question we explored in the STEAM room in January. It launched our investigation into hibernation and the subnivean zone, the secret kingdom under the snow!

Each class added their own cotton snowballs to our winter wall mural…filling the brilliant blue “sky” with soft flakes of snow. We played a hibernation game where each student uncovered an animal, bird, reptile or insect from under our indoor snow blanket and decided whether it hibernated below the snow, adapted for winter or migrated to a new climate. We compared the animals’ behavior and adaptations to our own in winter and how we adjust to the colder temperatures, shorter days and the challenges posed by the arrival of snow and ice!

The Yellow and Red group created whimsical winter wonderland scenes with glittered homemade snow paint (glue, shaving cream and crystal glitter, a favorite) on paper, foil and recycled cardboard for a variety of textures. It resulted in the sparkling sky, reflective snowflakes and birch trunk look-alikes that frame our hibernation mural in the main hallway.
The Purple, Orange, Green and Blue groups experimented with vegetable shortening to determine if an additional layer of blubber or brown fat helps insulate animals bodies and organs in winter when their body temperatures drop close to freezing during periods of hibernation. There was a flurry of excitement when all classes created a snowstorm in a jar with baby oil, white paint dissolved in water and Alka-Seltzer tablets! It was a snow day for sure!

Please stop to enjoy the winter hibernation mural all the classes creatively contributed in making. Ask your hibernation expert to teach you who adapts above, who goes below and who decides to go, go, go when it snows!