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BCIS Grade 5 Dives into the World of Physics

September, 2017
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bcis-g5_es_makerspace_library-10On a noisy, chaotic, and messy morning on 18 August, the MakerSpace at the Elementary School of Beijing City International School (BCIS) was the place to be.

The community workshop area, which is where magic happens on a daily basis, allows students to freely explore the ideas in their minds and create the most wonderful of items with the plethora of tools and materials available, including 3D printing machines, saws, hammers, and more. 

On this particular day, Grade 5 students gathered to work in groups on their very own Rube Goldberg machines as part of their “How the World Works” Unit of Inquiry (UOI). A Rube Goldberg machine is a highly complicated machine built to do a relatively simple task that was named after the American engineer of the same name. 

Taking inspiration from the amazing music video for the band Ok Go’s song, “This Too Shall Pass,” the students began to break a sweat as they started to learn and understand how there are different forms of energy and how these may be transferred. 

According to Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher Mr. Matthew Richmond, the young creatives are focusing on “converting energy from one form to another and storing it in various ways to enable people to use and control it effectively” in their most recent lessons. Although the subject of energy and physics is complex and difficult, Grade 5 students are starting to learn the basics, including directly experiencing the transformation of energy for the first time. Through this way, the teachers hope to foster and increase the interest of these young minds for all things physics before they reach Grade 10, where they tackle the subject in more detail.


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