Knoxville students explore STEM skills, kindness this week

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 5:59 PM EST
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Knoxville students are dressing up with peace signs and floral clothing at the Episcopal School of Knoxville and handing out candy to share with one another. Along with the fun of Kindness Week and its daily themes, are messages about friendship and lessons in science.

Chloe said this when asked how to practice kindness, "If you had about five pieces of gum, let's say, then all of a sudden your friends wanted some, you could split it."

Brooks added this about being kind to others, "Like if they're sad, you'd try to be nice to them."

The week leading up to Valentine's Day is also a 15-year tradition of 3rd graders making Valentine delivery systems. These are their original creations that must incorporate some of the simple machines they learn about in science class. The students demonstrate their machines and share candy to other students who come to watch.

Jaylen named all of the simple machines, "Wheel and axle, inclined plane, lever, wedge and screw." Then he pointed out that he had used three of these in his design.

The systems the students build move a marble or small doorknob or even a toy car through a course. In doing so, they show how the simple machines work. The students alternately showed successful and unsuccessful tries at getting their machines to work correctly - all part of the scientific process.

"Hit the lever, which will release the bouncy ball," said Brooks. Yet, he got frustrated when it did not work every time.

"Thank you, good job!" said some girls when watching a student demonstration. Students gathered samples of candy and gum as they watched the demonstrations.

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