Hot Chocolate Challenge – Keeping It Hot!

The students in Mrs. Locher’s 1st grade class at Maybeury were posed with a problem. We have had freezing temperatures in Richmond lately and when we are outside drinking hot chocolate, the delicious drink is getting cold very quickly. The students were asked to design a container that would keep the hot chocolate hot for a longer period of time.

First the students needed to know how the hot chocolate would cool down when placed outside. They were provided with a plastic cup and 6 oz. of hot chocolate. The students took some initial measurements using the GoTemp with the laptops. They checked the hot chocolate every 10 min to see how the outside temperature was affecting their hot chocolate. They graphed their results using EasyChart on the iPads.

Here are their results:

Students analyzed the graph and realized that there was a big drop from the initial temperature to the reading after being out in the cold for 10 minutes.

Before the students could start designing a new and improved cup for their hot chocolate, they needed to do some research to see how creatures that are outside in the cold stay warm. They looked at Arctic Animals on PebbleGo, navigated through slides about how animals stay warm on the Promethean Board, listened to a fictional story “The Mitten”, and reviewed non-fiction texts to gather ideas on how animals stay warm. They recorded their result on a t-chart.

Students used the information they gathered from research to plan and design their new and improved cups. Here are some of the designs they came up with:

Cup stays warm in a nest of feathers like a bird


Covered in black to attract heat from the sun, like the back on a penguin


Cup wrapped in bubble wrap with a cardboard shield for protection from wind and other animals

After designing the cups, the students tested them using the same steps they followed for the initial test. They took the temperature, put them outside, and tested the temperature every 10 minutes. The results with the new and improved cup were much better!

Maybeury Is Diving Into STREAM

Maybeury Elementary is excited to kick off their STREAM lab this year! In order to gain a better understanding of STREAM, I worked with Jan Locher (1st grade teacher and STREAM teacher representative) to model a Design Brief while addressing all 4 areas of the TIP Chart.

A huge thank you to all of the teachers for actively and enthusiastically participating in the Ice Cream Transportation Design Challenge! I was so impressed by the wonderful discussions that were taking place throughout the planning, building, and reflection portions of the challenge. I put together this quick Animoto to showcase what took place in our training session.

Check out the videos that were captured on the iPads and added to the Dropbox from different teams. After you view the video, you can click “Leave a Reply” letting others know which product design you think the owner of Chitterchats should go with and why:
Reflection #1
Reflection #2
Reflection #3
Reflection #4

Check out the amazing design brief!

Thank you so much Karen Hues and Jan Locher for pulling this together for the teachers at Maybeury!

Mystery Matter

The students in Mrs. Waters first grade class at Springfield Park traveled to “The Cave” (their 21st Century Learning Lab) to experiment with matter.  Students in Mrs. McGrath’s class at Glen Lea conducted the same experiment in their classroom.  They were provided with 13 different substances and had to determine what the substance was by it’s properties. The students identified that state of matter (solid or liquid), conducted a test to determine if the matter dissolved or not, and then properly identified the color of the substance in order to determine the name of the mystery matter. Prior to testing, students had to make their prediction on the Mystery Matter Recording Sheet.

Students then used the iPad to scan this QR Code using the QR Code Reader App:

This QR Code quickly links the students to the Mystery Matter Website that I created in iWeb to use with this activity.

From here, I showed the students the video of salt dissolving (this is flash based & will not show on the iPad). Then the students clicked to go to the experiment. As they identified the mystery substance, they recorded it next to their prediction on the recording sheet. Check out some photos of the students experimenting.

Click Here for the lesson plan & supporting documents.