Photo courtesy of the Rocky Point School District
Students in Jennifer Meschi’s first grade class at Frank J. Carasiti Elementary School advanced on a reading assignment by turning it into a STEM project. Meschi and the students read, “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell. The story is about a young girl who takes her grandmother’s advice and is proud of the things that make her special and unique.
“We had a great discussion about all of the things that make each one of us unique and special,” Meschi said. “They just warmed my heart with their responses!” One of the story’s references to Molly Lou’s teeth was the inspiration for a follow-up STEM activity where the students predicted how many drops of water the surface of a penny could hold. They used an eye dropper to count how many drops the penny actually held. They conducted the experiment a few times, recorded their results and discussed with their classmates whether or not their results were different from their prediction and why.
Students learned that the water molecules bonded together to create a dome, allowing many more drops to be held than expected. They were able to keep the penny and dropper to try the experiment with a family member at home.