STEM CLUB: Water Filters

In our after school STEM Club, students have been working to construct water filters. Their objective is to build the least expensive (from commonly available parts) water filter, that cleans the water the best, and the quickest.

Students purchase materials and evaluate their possible scores, given how much money they spent, using a cost analysis rubric. Next, they test their materials to see what works best and redesign their filters if needed.

The water is judged on color, clarity, smell, and particles.

Students have done an amazing job designing, creating, and testing their filters!

Testing a water filter with gravel.
A gravel based water filter.
Charcoal water filter.
Charcoal based water filter.
Testing a water filter.
Testing a filter.

“Because of Winn-Dixie” Book Box

Shoe box
Shoebox for Book Box Project

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Friday, September 14th, our class will begin a book box project.  This project will last one week (presentations will start on September 21st) and will center on the book “Because of Winn-Dixie”, by Kate DiCamillo.  We are reading the book as a class, and students will have time work on their project. 

The Book Box is created after finishing the book.  It is made from a shoebox or box of similar dimensions. It is a two part process: first covering the outside of the box and second filling the inside of the box.

For the outside of the box, students decorate it to resemble the book.  They must include the author’s name, the book title, and their own name on the top of the box.  The entire box (except the bottom) must be decorated, including the lid.  Decorating the box normally includes depicting the settings and important scenes from the book on the outside of their box. Sometimes students make the boxes look like the cover art of their books.

The inside of the box must include their chapter report summary and character depiction (provided by Mr. Thompson) and five artifacts that represent their book.  For example, if their assigned chapter focused on Otis and the Pet Store, artifacts may include a guitar, a picture of Elvis, a parrot, a dog collar, or much more.  Students must be able to explain the importance of each artifact and why they chose it.

Finally, students will present their Book Boxes to classmates and give a review of their present their chapter summaries.  They are allowed to read from their reports or use notecards.

If you have extra shoe boxes, please send them to school as they would be greatly appreciated.


Mr. Thompson