Project Name: Living it Up!
Driving Question: What do I need to survive?
What do plants and animals need to survive?
Content Areas: Science: "From Molecules to Organisms," Informational Writing, Fine Art
Description: Students will learn about the the needs of living things. They will diagram and learn about the function or role of each part of a plant. They will study the habitats of plants and animals. Additionally students will learn about 3 different Michigan habitat regions and select a native plant or animal to write an informational writing piece about. Each classroom will also care for a specific as a pet and create art projects themed around that animal (ants, worms, fish).
Public Product: Audience: Family Members and General Community.
Individual Product: Informational Reports.
Team Product: Habitat Murals.


1st Grade
Project Name: Families, Past and Present
Driving Question: How can we preserve and share family history and culture?
Content Areas: Social Studies, Civics: "Families & Schools"
Description: Students will learn about the past, present, and future by studying their families. They will interview their parents, and grandparents about their experiences during special holidays. They will learn about chronological time through creating timelines. They will write a personal narrative about a memorable event in their life.
Public Product: Audience: Family Members and General Community
Individual Product: Narrative, Timeline, Interview.
Team Product: Family Seal Quilt, Family Museum.


2nd Grade
Project Name: Be The Change: A Homelessness Project
Driving Question: How can we, as citizens, create a way to help the people who are homeless in our community?
Content Areas: ---
Description: ---
Public Product: Audience: ---
Individual Product: ---
Team Product: ---


3rd Grade
Project Name: Schoolyard Habitat
Driving Question: How can we, as scientists, help make our school habitat more welcoming to animals?
Content Areas: Science: Habitats, Animals, and Engineering Reading: Nonfiction Reading and Research
Description: Students will learn about the needs of animals (food, water, shelter and space) and apply this to an analysis of different parts of our schoolyard. Students will then develop a problem statement involving a specific animal, research this animal and design a solution in a small group. As a class, we will then chooose one solution to implement.
Public Product: Audience: Students, Staff and Grounds Supervisors
Individual Product: Animal research reports done with Ms. Reader in library.
Team Product: Research and plan for improving schoolyard habitat.


4th Grade
Project Name: Every Kid in a Park
Driving Question: Which region would be the best fit for me and my famiily?
Content Areas: Reading, Writing, Social Studies
Description: Students will become "experts" in a region in order to persuade their families to go to a specific national park in that region. All 4th graders recieve a free National Park pass that the whole family can use.
Public Product: Audience: Families
Individual Product: ---
Team Product: ---


5th Grade
Project Name: Chicken Coop Construction
Driving Question: How can we design and build a coop to keep chickens happy, healthy, and safe?
Content Areas: Science: "Engineering Design"
Description: Students research the needs of chickens to form constraints and requirements for designing a coop. Research is combined to answer the class Need to Knows. Students use design thinking process to sketch ideas for coops. These ideas are critiqued with peers and then groups with similar design concepts are made. Each group designs a coop using architectural drawings and models. Community voting and/or client opinion is used to determine which design we should build.
Build: The chosen coop design is built full scale using hand and some power tools. Students do 90% of the work building and finishing the coop with scaffolding from teachers and/or guests who understand construction. The coop is then delivered to the client.
Public Product: Audience: A2 STEAM & other clients
Individual Product: Preliminary sketches
Team Product: Group Design


5th Grade
Project Name: Salmon in the Michigan Hydrosphere
Driving Question: How can we raise salmon at STEAM and inform the public about ecological issues surrounding salmon?
Content Areas: Science: "Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics"
Description: Students study ideal conditions in which to raise fish, including the nitrogen cycle, salt content and molecular makeup of water. Students study to inform others about the history of salmon in Michigan and the ecological impact of species that are native or invasive. Students also study to inform about the importance of freshwater that is clean and healthy for animals and humans.
5th graders embark on an annual trip to Flat Rock to release their salmon in the Huron River below the last damn.
Public Product: Audience: Michigan DNR
Individual Product: Informational writing.
Team Product: Raising salmon from eggs.


5th Grade
Project Name: The Biology of Chicken and Gardens
Driving Question: What do our chickens and gardens need to be healthy and well taken care of?
Content Areas: Science: "Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics"
Description: Students hatch and care for chickens throughout the year and learn what the chickens need in order to be healthy. They care for their needs and grow them food to sustain them. Students research ways to sustain the chickens in the winter when food growing is restricted and how the heat from the sun can be harnessed during the winter.
This has led students to experiment with aquaponics and hydroponics (connections to salmon and nitrogen cycle) in the winter time inside the school. We have also had students connect the astronomy learning to designing and experimenting with building greenhouses to feed the chickens in the winter.
Students clean the coop, tend the gardens and use the waste to compost for the spring planting.
Public Product: Audience: A2 STEAM Community
Individual Product: N/A
Team Product: Living creatures


5th Grade
Project Name: Sustainable Healthy Baking
Driving Question: How can we support our chickens and our own bodies by selling healthy baked goods to our community?
Content Areas: Science: "Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics"
Description: Students use math, reading and writing skills to collect, modify and write recipes for healthy treats to see at our farm stand after the fall harvest of the gardens is complete.
Students study the molecular composition of baking materials and how matter changes when heat is added or taken away.
Public Product: Audience: A2 STEAM Community
Individual Product: N/A
Team Product: Baked Goods


5th Grade
Project Name: Marble Machines
Driving Question: How can you design and build a functioning marble machine that demonstrates the power of gravity?
Content Areas: Science: "Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions"
Description: This is a home project (with help as needed during school hours) where students design, test, and build a marble machine. The creation must meet quality indicators set in class: must be free standing, marble must run freely only using gravity, machine must stand up to many trials, etc. Once complete the marble machines are used for math work in class during math as well as for a speaking assignment. They also go on display at our Fall Expo for families to see and enjoy.
Public Product: Audience: 5th Grade Science Community
Individual Product: N/A
Team Product: Functioning Marble Machine


6th Grade
Project Name: Water Protectors
Driving Question: How can we protect our water resources?
Content Areas: Science: "Earth's Systems" "
Description: Students will identify a water issue in their global or local community, research the topic, write about the topic, identify the governmental roles in the issue as well as the scientific phenomena. Students will also make a mathematical model to show their findings. The product will be a way of showing their findings to the community in an interactive display that will be part of the story of protecting water resources.
Public Product: Audience: The school and surrounding municipal community
Individual Product: Specific water protection argument and interactive exhibit/presentation.
Team Product: MPR turned into a watershed with interactive exhibits that are grouped logically.


7th Grade
Project Name: Tiny House Blueprints
Driving Question: How can polygons be used to create a blueprint for a livable house that meets the standards and needs of the future Cass Community Social Services Tiny House residents?
Content Areas: Math: Geometry
Description: Students will be designing a tiny house in accordance with the Cass Community Social Services Tiny Homes Detroit community. In addition to the list of basic requirements as set forth by the designing architect and the social services group that created the tiny house community set forth, the students will develop a list of NTK’s in regards to the needs that their tiny house blueprint needs to meet. Students will create a rough draft of their blueprint which will undergo an consultancy style critique with the architect. The students will make changes based on the critique and present to the class. The class will decide which blueprint will be presented to the Cass Community Social Services representative and at Expo. Students will reflect on how area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms were used to meet all of the requirements to build their tiny house.
Public Product: Audience: --
Individual Product: Written Reflection
Team Product: Final Blueprints


7th Grade
Project Name: Fuzzy Microbes
Driving Question: How can we, as scientists, create and innovate using living organisms?
Content Areas: Science: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
ELA: Literature
Description: Students will explore the world of microorganisms and find ways to create agar art using living organisms as their medium.
Public Product: Audience: --
Individual Product: Agar Art
Team Product: Flower Clock


8th Grade
Project Name: Functions and Financial Planning
Driving Question: How can we use functions to financially plan for our future?
Content Areas: Math, Social Studies, ELA
Description: Students will correctly apply different functions to real-world situations in their lives. Functions to be used are linear, exponential and quadratic.
Public Product: Audience: Students
Individual Product: ---
Team Product: ---
8th Grade
Project Name: Genocide Awareness Art
Driving Question: How do genocides occur, and what can be done to stop or prevent them?
Content Areas: ELA, Art, and Social Studies
Description: Students created a piece of art or a model of a memorial for a genocide they studied that incorporates symbolism.
Public Product: Audience: A2 STEAM Community, Genocide Memorial Project
Individual Product: ---
Team Product: ---