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STEM Incorporated into Mini Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 23, 2021

Students preparing to enter the mini parade routeWith the assistance of STEM teacher leader Molly Rockefeller, the first grade classes of Ms. Schlenker and Ms. Wiltgen created a small-scale version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

To prepare for the parade, students read the book, “Balloons Over Broadway” to learn about the tradition of the Macy’s parade and floats from years past. Students then worked in teams using their engineering skills to brainstorm their own float design. Balloons and a variety of craft supplies were used by students to bring their visions to life.

On November 22, the floats created by each group were then placed on a BeeBot, a programmable floor robot that teaches students basic coding skills and concepts. The challenge to students was to navigate their BeeBot through a grid serving as a miniature parade route. During this activity, students are able to learn directional language, commands, and sequencing. 

In addition to coding and computational thinking, other important skills developed during the activity included problem solving, creative thinking, communication, and exploration. Students enjoyed the hands-on nature of the Bee-Bot and were excited to participate in this unique learning activity.

Students using coding skills to maneuver BeeBots


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