Burch students learn not to spill the tea

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Burch Elementary students combined their knowledge of the Boston Tea Party and STEAM to design and build a container to keep their tea afloat and dry.

The Bears had a tea party with a twist. Fourth graders in Kerstin Steiner’s class at Robert J. Burch Elementary teamed up to keep their tea dry.

The students had just learned about the Boston Tea Party in social studies, and to make the lesson memorable they connected it with a STEM challenge activity. Each group of students had to design and build a crate strong enough to protect their tea from the Boston Tea Party with the supplies they were given: 16 popsicle sticks, 12 inches of yarn, scissors, teabag, and a small square of wax paper.

The students collaborated and designed together, then tested their crates. They made observations and had a discussion on the results.

“The students were thrilled to see their designs work,” said Steiner. “We were hoping to make the social studies standard memorable, all while giving students the opportunity to make connections to math and science, as well as a chance to collaborate and communicate effectively.”