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Gribbin Elementary School

Primary STREAM



Students in kindergarten spent the month of March learning about the needs and parts of plants. The students had an opportunity to observe and investigate live tulip, daffodil and hyacinth plants. After learning about the various parts of plants, the students colored diagrams of plants and labeled the parts. In order to gain a deeper understanding of what the various plant parts do, they watched animated instructional videos. This was all done to prepare students for the packaging engineering unit they will begin in April.

Students in grade one began learning about the parts of plants and pollination. The students had an opportunity to observe live plants. After learning about the various parts of plants and their functions, the students had an opportunity to create diagrams of plants in their STEAM journals. During their next STEAM lesson, they investigated a photograph of bees on a flower. Students were asked to try to figure out what the bees were doing. After looking closely and sharing their thoughts, the teacher conducted a survey regarding students’ fear of bees. The students created picto and bar graphs to represent the class data. During their next lesson, they will learn how bees and butterflies are integral parts of the pollination system. This was all done in preparation for the agricultural engineering unit students will begin in April.

Students in grade two have embarked on a unit about renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. The students had an opportunity to learn about wind and solar energy through the story Energy Island by Allan Drummond. In order for students to make a connection to these concepts they were shown a News12 Long Island video clip that described the possibility of a wind farm being brought to the south shore of our island. Next month, students will further investigate wind energy and how it can be turned into electricity using wind turbines. They will use the knowledge gained this month to begin a mechanical engineering unit in April.


Meet Our Bots!

During the month of February, students in grades K-2 received lessons on basic robotics concepts during their STEAM classes.

All students were taught that robots are machines and cannot think for themselves. Computer scientists need to program the robots so that they can perform tasks.

Students in kindergarten and grade one used “Jeffrey the Bee.” Jeffrey is a Bee-Bot. Bee-Bots are robots designed to be used by young children.

Grade two students were introduced to the Blue-Bots. Ava, Rosey and Jack are the names of our Blue-Bots. The students used their knowledge gained last year, to help them use iPads to program these new robots. The robots are controlled by the iPads utilizing Bluetooth technology.


During the month of January, primary students continued their study of programming and were introduced to Ozobots.

The Ozobot is a miniature AGV robot. This means the robot is able to follow lines. The students learned how the Ozobots can “see” lines using sensors. The sensors could also help the robot to “see” colors. Different color combinations were used to program the Ozobot to complete desired tasks. Students learned how to make the Ozobots change speed and direction, dance and perform tasks such as spin.

Students in kindergarten and grade one created Ozobot playgrounds using markers and paper. Grade one students began to embed codes within their paper playgrounds. Grade two students used the iPads to create digital Ozobot playgrounds embedded with code.



Primary students have participated in a global celebration of computer science education with an Hour of Code.

This month all lessons began with STEAM teacher Jessica McKenna discussing types of machines and some of the careers that computer scientists can attain. Kindergartners were then introduced to basic coding and learned several commands that allowed them to move a character “Fuzz” through a blue maze. The goal was for the students to program Fuzz to get to the golden coins. Students may access their accounts at home with their student codes that Mrs. McKenna sent home.
During the first-grade lessons, students were introduced to “Code-a-pillar,” a new character. They used their prior knowledge of coding and utilized symbolic commands to program the Code-a-pillar to get to a target. As each level increased, so did the complexity of the game.

Second-graders participated in a Star Wars challenge. These students have progressed to using block coding to create their programs, which are longer and more complex than the ones they worked on in first grade. This work will prepare them for more sophisticated coding concepts that they will learn next year at Landing and Connolly Schools with STEAM teachers Kenneth Altamirano and Cheryl Carmody.
Over the next two months, students will move forward with basic coding and robotics and use their newly obtained knowledge to program various robotic technologies including: Code-a-pillar, Ozobot, Bee-Bot and Blue-Bot.


During the month of November, kindergarten students learned about the five senses. They spent time listening to stories about the senses and completing various activities involving the senses. To complete the unit, the students took part in an interdisciplinary activity where they used their five senses to observe an apple and describe it.

Students in grade one spent the month of November learning about local birds. The students became experts on bird body parts and their functions. They learned birds’ beaks are different shapes and sizes because they eat different foods. The students were exposed to the iPad application: Merlin Bird ID. Using the application, students had the opportunity to listen to various bird calls and locate where the birds can be found on a map.

Second graders spent the month of November exploring matter. The students learned that here on Earth, matter is found in three states: solid, liquid and gas. Students learned the properties of each state and how sometimes matter can change form. To conclude the unit, students made Oobleck with their STEAM teammates. They had an opportunity to explore the Oobleck and write down the steps they completed to make the substance.


Kindergarten students began the month of October focusing on teamwork. The students worked in pairs to create the tallest structure they could out of various blocks, legos, shapes and KEVA planks. After building their structures, they created scientific drawings to record how their towers looked. In addition to drawing their towers, the students decided on an adjective to describe their towers and added the word to a sentence. Later on in the month, the students took part in a Halloween STEAM challenge. They created jack-o-lantern masks for a fictional child named Charlie. Prior to creating the masks they learned about shapes and their attributes.

Students in grade one heard the story of Rosie Revere Engineer. They were asked to focus on the central message of the story which was: Engineers work together and do not give up! The students learned that if something they create does not work on the first try, they need to alter their plans to make improvements instead of quitting. Later on in the month, the students took part in a Halloween STEAM challenge. They listened to the Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano. Next, they compared Spookley’s shape to that of real pumpkins. The students ended their lesson by designing and creating their very own Spookley!

Second graders began the month of October by listening to Rosie Revere Engineer and evaluating whether or not they thought Rosie would grow up to be a great engineer. The students were asked to use evidence from the text to support their answers. The students recorded their responses in their STEAM journals. At the end of the month, the students took part in a spooky STEAM challenge. They were asked to work as a team to design and create a “bone bridge” to help a lonely skeleton cross the river to see his family. The students used the engineering design process to guide them through this project. Students not only worked on their engineering skills but also practiced respect and teamwork while making the bridges. Once the projects were finished, the students shared their designs and explained how they would improve them if given the opportunity.



The students at Deasy and Gribbin are full STEAM ahead!

The year began with students in grades K-2 taking part in their first engineering design challenge. The children were asked to design and create a nametag to help their classmates and their teachers remember their names. There was a different set of criteria and different constraints for each grade level. This challenge allowed students to express themselves through design and color while giving them an opportunity to work as a team and exercise their problem solving skills.

Kindergarten students ended the month of September with a literacy inspired STEAM lesson. They listened to Mrs. McKenna read the story Rosie Revere Engineer. Rosie is a girl who loves to design and build out of materials people would normally throw in the trash. After hearing the story, students turned and talked to a buddy to discuss the inventions Rosie made. The lesson ended with the students working with a teammate to build the tallest tower they could out of cardboard tubes and rectangles.

Later on in the month, students in grades one and two were given their new STEAM journals! The children were very excited to hear they will be using their journals to document their projects and their learning. Their first journal assignment was to write the STEAM acronym and write what each letter represents. The students will take their journals home in June and be able to share all of their hard work with their families.



STEAM at Gribbin


Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Seaman & Walnut Roads
Glen Cove, NY 11542
(516) 801-7210


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