Blow Off Some STEAM With An End-of-Year School Carnival
As the school year and testing season wind down, have your students blow off some STEAM through a LEGO® Education carnival. Learn how the Sheboygan Area School District created an immersive experience for students, and borrow their ideas and resources to host your own end of year showcase celebration.
If you’re looking for ways for students to blow off some STEAM after testing, set up an immersive experience that provides thrills, challenges, and creative collaborative problem-solving skills!
This idea comes to us from the Sheboygan Area School District, located in Wisconsin, where their Instructional Technology team, led by Coordinator Mike Jaber and championed by IT Coaches Amy Dekker, Jennifer Zalewski, and Brenda Louko, have run several immersive experiences for students throughout the district. In this latest iteration, Amy Dekker sets up carnival challenges for students by modifying lessons from the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Essential Unit Crazy Carnival Games.Each student group receives a carnival ticket and must complete specific challenges to earn points. The builds for the challenges are already assembled, and the challenges themselves are based both on coding and completing the games of skill and chance. For older students, groups can choose the order of the challenges; younger students generally have set 5-minute rotations. Jaber even partnered with local businesses to provide custom bags of popcorn for the carnival event! “It’s all about making it a fun and immersive learning experience,” says Jaber. Check out this short video and images showcasing the eight carnival stations.
The team also incorporates challenges from other LEGO® Education solutions, such as the Claw Machine, based on SPIKE™ Prime Lesson Super Clean-Up and additional lessons from SPIKE Essential™ Amazing Amusement Park, and students use Duplo Building Blocks to create their own food stands.
The initial idea for the immersive experiences came from the Instructional Technology team’s introduction to LEGO® Education at their International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) training in the summer of 2022. At ISTE that year, the LEGO Education team had participants experience challenges from our Build to Launch program, and the Sheboygan team worked closely with our Educational Impact team to create a similar experience for their district students
The project led by the Sheboygan Instructional Technology team was rebranded as Ready to Launch, the first-of-its-kind, space-themed learning experience for kindergarten through fifth-grade students. It provided five learning stations that engaged students in 4C activities: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. It was definitely the most popular topic in the schools after the students had gone through the experience. Parents even reached out to the teachers and principals, telling them that their child hasn’t stopped talking about it since they went through the LEGO experience.
As Jaber explains, their goal was not only to provide new and different ways to engage students through hands-on learning with opportunities to create, collaborate, and iterate; they also wanted to illustrate to building teachers and administrators that they, too, could have similar successful experiences.
Prior to these immersive experiences, LEGO bricks were never part of academic planning and instructional conversations; but now teachers and site administrators are excited to align LEGO lessons to all content areas, recognizing how engaged students are with math and science concepts. “Really any subject matter can be reached with this,” Jaber says, as they look forward to garnering greater instructional buy-in throughout the district—perhaps next year with a 2024 Olympic theme.
Jaber just informed his team that the integration of LEGO Education into instruction will be the department’s Board of Education Goal for the 2023-2024 school year. It is going to be a great year of pushing the envelope with LEGO Education!
To help you create your own carnival showcase, the Sheboygan team has graciously shared the following resources:
- Station Instructions
- Carnival Caravan Placement Card
- Carnival Tickets
- Station Signs
- Carnival Music for the background
Are those the Sphero Mini Bowling Pins? If so great use!
Yes they are 😀