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SAM Labs

Build various contraptions with science and engineering principles with SAM Labs blocks.
Ages 7-11 | Grades 2nd-5th

Strawbees partners with SAM Labs to co-create the Creator kit!

This at-home, mini-kit is an entry-level kit ideal for schools or districts implementing STEAM into their technology plans for the first time using SAM Labs blocks with Strawbees connectors and straws.

Designed for Grades 2-5, each kit comes with NGSS and Common Core-aligned lesson plans that allow students to code, create, and experiment at home or in school. With the SAM Labs slider and servo motor blocks, students can build various contraptions to engage students and expose them to basic engineering principles, with a particular emphasis on the hands-on side of STEAM learning.

Listed below are 5 lessons for each US grade group of 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th covering ages 7-11.

2nd-3rd Grade Lessons

Lesson 1: Madagascar Adventure

Students will gain an understanding of the diverse populations of animals and plants by comparing and contrasting features of rainforest and desert habitats. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by designing and coding a model of a chameleon, a creature which can be found in each habitat.

Lesson 2: Ring of Fire

Students will gain an understanding of the different ways that volcanoes can erupt, as well as how land forms over time as a result of volcanoes. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by designing a model of a volcano that simulates heat sensing and vibration of a volcanic eruption.

Lesson 3: Arctic Voyage

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the Arctic region and the animals which live in that environment. They will also explain the importance of studying the Arctic and Polar regions, and how we can protect it. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by creating a system which models a submarine exploring the Arctic region to gather important information.

Lesson 4: Operation Hurricane

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the color-coded warning system used for natural disaster awareness and learn about the possible causes of flooding. They will discover action steps to prepare for natural disasters and prevent some of the possible negative effects afterward. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by creating a flood barrier and warning system as a model to protect a community from flooding.

Lesson 5: Dinosaur Dig

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the types, sizes, and distribution of fossil organisms as well as learn the basic characteristics of the three dinosaur time periods (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods). Students will integrate and exhibit learning by designing an excavation site and modeling how a paleontologist may dig out a fossil.

4th-5th Grade Lessons

Lesson 1: Carnivorous Plant 

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the basic structures of plants and the specialized parts of carnivorous plants. They will learn the external structures that support the survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction of a Venus Flytrap. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by creating a Venus Flytrap and coding a system that simulates how Venus Flytraps eat their prey.

Lesson 2: Arcade Game

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the fundamental role that gravity plays on Earth. Students will learn that Earth exerts a downward gravitational pull which is responsible for keeping objects on Earth. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by making an arcade game with simulated noises and lights, to display gravity in action.

Lesson 3: Hunting with Raptors

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the special internal and external structures of owls and other raptors. They will study the way that raptors receive information from their senses, process the information in their brains, and respond to the information in different ways. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by creating a model of a barn owl and designing a system to represent it and a competing great horned owl’s night time hunt.

Lesson 4: Speeding Toward the Sun

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the brightness of the Sun due to its relative position near Earth. They will explore the purpose and function of solar probes, and specify some unique features of the Parker Solar Probe. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by building their own Solar Parker Probe and designing a system that represents it speeding toward the Sun.

Lesson 5: Guardians of the Earth

During this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the ocean’s role in sustaining life on Earth. Students will explore the current threat to oceans due to plastic pollution. Students will discuss how human ingenuity, robust community effort, robotics, and automation can overcome this huge environmental problem. Students will integrate and exhibit learning by building a river cleaning barge with trash receptacles and coding a system to represent emptying the trash when the receptacles are full.

Overview

These medium-term planning documents can help provide an overview over the lessons and the specific curriculum standards they are matched to for each grade group.

Grades 2-3

Grades 4-5