Learning Center Profile

About Me: I teach 7th and 8th grade Math,Science, Design and Engineering. I received my National Board Certification in EA Science in 2006. This is my 20th year of teaching.
Affiliation: Pacific Middle School
Location: Renton, Washington
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:00 AM
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Total Posts: 1313
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IM: gadysj
Recent Posts by Sandy
Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:59 PM in Even Middle School Students Like to Be Read To
Every year I try to come up with a list of books I can read to my middle school Design and Engineering students to motivate them to think outside the box, problem solve and come to an understanding of what it means to be an “Engineer,” a student, or otherwise just plain nice person. Generally I come up with some ideas from my elementary colleagues, who seem to know all of the best books ever....

Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:55 PM in STEM AND Super Heros
Thank you Wendy and Cheryl for posting this idea. I really like how you have activities set out for all of the grade levels. As a middle school teacher, I am thinking many of the ideas can be modified to meet the needs of my middle school Design and Engineering students. I love the idea of having a Maker Faire type of event where parents are invited to an evening of helping super heroes desig...

Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:28 PM in 2015 Technology I Can’t Wait to Try …
Perusing through the forums, I found a link to purchase slow motion software, slow motion camera and tri-pod. The link is http://www.proam-analysis.com/ and is linked to a site called “The Pro Am,” Professional Sports Analytics for Amateurs. It appears to be based out of Great Britain, payment is accepted through Paypal. The cost is $38.98 GBP, which comes to $62.43 US. I have always wanted ...

Recent Reviews by Sandy

5 Just in Time NGSS PD, Priceless
I left this conference with a much greater understanding of NGSS and how others are incorporating the new standards in their classrooms. While all of the sessions were outstanding and the available resources helped promote deeper understanding, I was particularly drawn to the sessions on “Modeling” with Cynthia Passmore and “Explanation and Argumentation,” by Jonathon Osborne. I have had so many questions the past year as I have tried to grasp the implications of NGSS on my middle school classroom, I am feeling more confident I am headed in the right direction. These sessions would make for wonderful PD opportunities. This is one conference I am looking forward to revisiting several times. As I grow, these sessions grow with me

3 Time Challenge
This would be an interesting challenge to put to my middle school Design and Engineering students. I like the idea of the challenge, but am wondering how many solutions there are. Immediately my mind went to pendulums, though I don’t know how you could keep the pendulum swinging throughout the entire song. The other thought was a metronome type of device, which would be more challenging for students to figure out how to construct. The advantage would be, once you had the mechanical piece working, it would not, or at least should not decay over time. I would have liked to have seen some actual photos of completed student designs created for this challenge. I would also have liked to see some sort of rubric for scoring and questions that might be posed to students as they went through the challenge, both to move progress forward and cause students to think about the process as well as the science behind their solutions.

3 Earthquake Resistant Structures
This article provided a fair amount of time setting up how to have the students create a model of a building and testing it for its durability in an earthquake. Sixth graders tended to like this activity better than the seventh or eighth graders, most likely because of the experiences I had given them that were similar to this activity. The greatest revelation to the students was the fact the structure with the rolling foundation support proved to be the most resistant. In fact, they thought they had done something wrong initially, so they retested it several times to validate what they saw was indeed true. I would have liked to have seen some actual photos of completed student designs both before and after they were tested.

Recent Public Collections by Sandy

1 Resources


More Than One “Right” Answer
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Elementary School

Inquiry, Argumentation, and the Phases of the Moon: Helping Students Learn Important Concepts and Practices
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Middle School

9 Resources

The Benefits of Scientific Modeling
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Elementary School