ST 1.2

ST 1.2 - Students work independently and collaboratively in an inquiry-based learning environment that encourages finding creative solutions to authentic and complex problems.

Students at Red Cedar work in an inquiry-based environment through our Project-Based Learning model. This model seamlessly incorporates the Engineering Design Process and allows students to work independently and collaboratively to research, solve problems and become immersed in content that is tied to real-world scenarios.

Preschool Three Little Pigs
As part of the Farms Unit, we read the story of the Three Little Pigs and had the students retell it by teams. While visiting the Discovery Center, students were challenged to use the provided materials to build a house where the pigs would be safe from the Big Bad Wolf. First, the students had to work by themselves to build the house and then had to call the “Big Bad Wolf” (the teacher) to test it by huffing and puffing and blowing to see if the house was strong enough to keep the little pigs safe. If the house fell, they had to identify why it happened and how to solve that problem. At that point they worked as a team so they would have more materials, and plan together and try again.

The Three Little Pigs

First Grade Pumpkingate

Some of our first grade students wanted to grow a pumpkin outside. They put a rotten jack-o-lantern in the mulch and charted it over time. Unfortunately, our landscapers cut it down one afternoon! Students immediately started brainstorming ideas on how to avoid this and continue with their project. They decided that they needed something to raise their pumpkins off the ground in order to protect it from animals, bugs and landscapers! They worked together to plan, create, and test something to save their pumpkins.

Fourth Grade Sun Shades
One of the groups explaining their sun shade project. Students were asked to help provide the PTO with suggestions for the shade structure placement on the big playground. Students used measurements provided to suggest locations on the playground that would provide shade to the most used areas of the playground, or most needed areas for shade.
The students tested various angles and area measurements to determine where they thought the shade structure should be placed.

Crayon Recycling
Our second graders were presented with a problem by our art teacher. Almost all of our school’s supply of crayons had been used and broken and she needed help ensuring we would always have the supplies we need to be creative.  The second graders then set out to solve that problem! They tried options like taping them and gluing them and found those trials were not good options. After doing some research, they settled on the idea of melting them down to create new crayons using ice cube trays. They worked through how to do it, materials they needed, and documented their work along the way. This project-based learning unit integrated science standards on observable properties and matter, ELA standard on informative writing as well as critical thinking and problem-solving.

Crayon Collage

Planeteers Club 
One of our STEM-based clubs, the Planeteers, seek to change the world and solve some of its problems together. One of those problems was a need for our school to recycle in a more complete way that involves all students. The club decided to apply for a grant from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) for additional recycling containers to encourage recycling in every classroom. The students also determined that larger containers strategically placed at the ends of hallways would make emptying the bins more manageable for students and the custodial staff. The Planeteers were awarded $1,240.00 to accomplish their goal! After receiving the bins, the Planeteers set their minds to educating their classmates on what recyclables should be included in the bins. This was accomplished with a poster campaign as well as the “Planeteers’ Tip of the Week” on the morning broadcast.


Paws to Rescue
The Paws to Rescue classroom blog is the culminating product from our class’ mission to solve the problem of homeless pets in the Lowcountry, where a shortage of funding and a large amount of stray dogs contributes to a growing problem of animal homelessness and shelter overcrowding. The blog grew from one student’s idea into a whole-class project, and has continued over the course of two years. The blog highlights dogs that are available for adoption in the greater Hilton Head area. The blog began running last school year, and has continued this year with consistent posts that are researched and authored exclusively by the students in class. So far, students have worked with three different rescue organizations to highlight their dogs in hopes of reaching a community of potential adoptive families. We are happy to say many of the dogs highlighted on our blog have found forever homes! Click below to see the blog!