Designing an “Apple” Device (PBL & STEM Project)

This video overview showcases a 4th grade engineering design unit. Students took on the role of Apple engineers and designers to design and build an “Apple” recording device. Students used the design thinking process to create a recording device for English language learners. ELL students would use this device to practice their speech and reading fluency.

Becca Goess:

Related Videos:
How to use an X-acto knife:
How to build the voice recording device:

Tim Cook image:
Photo ( by iphonedigital ( / CC BY 2.0

Intro to Project-Based Learning:
Essential Elements of PBL:

STEM Education Overview:

Design Thinking in Elementary:

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Intro Music by Ryan Little “Falling Down”:
Instrumental produced by by Chuki – “Nomad”:

Smartick: Online Math Education (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by Conchi Ruiz Cabello from Smartick (Twitter: @Smartickmethod). According to their website, “Smartick is a unique online learning method that, through mathematics, increases mental agility, calculation skills and concentration, and study habits, helping your child reach their maximum potential.”

Smart kids are lucky. They look at a book and begin to read. They ‘get’ math. They glide through school without a care. While other kids spend hours studying for a test, the smart kids just show up and ace it. That works up to a point.

For each kid that point is at a different time, but it happens. No one likes to get a problem or a bunch of problems wrong and when it happens for the first time, it’s a blow. Your ego, long fed on gold stars and “attaboys”, gets bruised. Some people deal poorly with the revelation that they’re not perfect. They get frustrated and quit. They fear a challenge.

At Smartick, we believe mathematics education is important. We also believe it’s essential for a child to grow as a person. Through our interactive, online mathematics method, your child will learn math…and how to be a problem-solver. She’ll learn to be a better student. While she’s improving her mathematical ability, she’ll be thickening her skin as well.


Instead of quitting at the first hint of failure, she’ll buckle down and keep trying. The artificial intelligence used in Smartick measures correct and incorrect answers along with speed of response to come up with a customized program that fits your child specifically. When your child makes mistakes, the algorithm devises a plan to add more of that particular problem to her program. When a child masters a concept, Smartick moves on so that your child is constantly challenged.

This doubling down on the hard stuff can prove exasperating for a child accustomed to nothing but success, but it’s a good kind of exasperating. When a child powers through the tough stuff and learns from it, she becomes stronger. When she sees how her perseverance pays off, she’ll continue to try even when it’s not easy. Smartick asks students for fifteen minutes a day. In return, our personalized software improves your child’s math skills and builds her character.

STEM Activity for 2nd Grade: Self Identity Box

Our 2nd graders built a foldable box that contained objects that represented who they were. This project incorporated social studies, engineering, science and mathematics.

In design class, Becca Goess and I helped students build and design their foldable boxes. We first had them learn about measurements to gain an understanding of the size and dimensions of their box.

Want to see more of what we do in our STEM/EdTech class?
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• Website:
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• Blog:

Intro Music by Ryan Little “Falling Down”:
Background Music by Ryan Little “Slow Down”:

Becca Goess, STEM Design Specialist:
Denise Brohm, 2nd Grade Teacher:


How to Create a Professional Logo

This video was created for my 3rd grade class. After drawing their logo, they needed to take a picture of it and upload it to their Google Drive. Finally they used Google Drawing to create their logos.

Want to see what we do in my STEM/EdTech class?

Intro Music 1 by Kevin Macleod “Pamgaea”
Intro Music 2 by Ryan Little “Falling Down”:

DIY Mood Lamp with Creation Crate

Get 10% off the price of your first box with this discount code – DAVIDLEEEDTECH

Creation Crate website:
Ardunio software download:

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