Chillingham Public School

Success through teamwork

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Years 5 and 6 STEM Task

It was wonderful to watch the Year 5/6 students present their STEM projects to peers and teachers. The students showed skill and effort as they proudly presented their interactive informative posters, read their Bee Waggle Dance procedures, and switched on their carefully designed and coded robots. 

This apparently simple task ...... To design a robot and code it to copy the 'Bee's Waggle Dance' was actually rigerous, requiring the following learning: 

  1. build a basic robot 
  2. Add, adapt and enhance the robot to look like a bee
  3. read and follow the instructions on Lego software to learn coding
  4. Research the 'bee dance' to get the idea of the patterns it makes
  5. Write a procedural text explaining the 'bee dance'
  6. Code your robot to dance like a bee
  7. Prepare and interactive information report on an interesting aspect bees
  8. Present your 'bee dance' to the school - reading the proceduratl text 
  9. Complete self assessment
  10. Assess one of your classmates using the marking rubric 
  11. The final mark is a combination of teacher, peer and self assessments. 

Research and preparation

Students research and write an information report

Students began their task by researching bees learning about the waggle dance, then identify the elements that required inclusion in their coding. They also chose an aspect of beelife that interested them to share via an interactive information report.

Eye-catching elements all became part of this design and layout brief. Students utilised their word processing and writing skills to produce, fully edited reports to compliment their presentations. 

Building a Lego Bee

Student displays a Lego Bee he created.

The Lego robots were constructed with bee adaptations. Coding then became the challenge. To mimic the bee dance required considerable trial and error as the bee's dance is precise, communicating direction and distances to the source of pollen. An example of the procedural text follows. 


Procedural Text for the Bee Dance

The assessment process was a shared responsibility, as outlined above. Students know for the beginning what they need to do to achieve the top marks. Each presentation was filmed and a marking rubric completed by their peers. The teacher also complete the same rubric and these marks were added to the students' own self assessment. 

A student's assessment completed by the teacher is included below. This method of shared assessment has been used now for a number of years and students are generally very fair. They also learn the value of authentic, constructive criticism. It has been the practice if a mark below a pass was awarded it required a respectful explanation. 

Teacher's Task Assessment & Feedback

Lego Bee performing the waggle dance

Interactive Information Report

The Year 5 and 6 students did an excellent job sharing their presentation with a much younger audience. 

Lego Bee