In this week's WAB podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing Grade 5 students Isabella and Victoria, along with Steve Kay, Grade 5 teacher and learning leader at WAB. They shared their learning, experience, and takeaways from the recent Shark Tank voyage.
The unit started with students learning the scientific principles of heat, and conducting heat-related experiments before they designed solutions to real-life problems and pitched these products to real clients (the "sharks"). Steve emphasized that students spent about three weeks learning insulation, and different types of heat transfer, including convection, radiation, and conduction. They then got into the practical cycle and had the opportunity to design and develop solutions for their clients.
All the clients involved in the program were members of the WAB community. For example, Isabella and Victoria chose to design a solution for Grade 3 teacher Nina's dog.
Isabella explained that they utilized various wrapping materials, such as Gore-Tex and Velcro, to create a dog coat and leg warmers that would keep Nina's pet warm during the winter. Additionally, Nina requested that her dog be visible at night, so the group of three incorporated LED lights into their final product.
Isabella mentioned her "teamwork got a lot better" through the program, while Victoria highlighted that she gained a deeper understanding of heat transfer and learned effective strategies for consensus-building within a group. She noted that their preferred method was to "divide and conquer."
"This is a transdisciplinary unit", mentioned Steve. He pointed out that the Shark Tank program integrates multiple subjects, including science, math, writing, and design. "Four strands of our curriculum combine, and we focus on leveraging all of those to build power in students' understanding," Steve concluded.
If you're interested in the exciting story behind the Shark Tank program, be sure to tune in to this episode!
- Agency in Learning