BROOKSVILLE — There were bowls of popcorn on each of the science tables in Ruth Markham's science resource classroom at Chocachatti Elementary School, but the first-graders were not touching it.
There was work to be done first.
Markham gave each student a half sheet of paper. The assignment was to decorate it and then fashion it into a popcorn container. The idea was to design it to hold as many kernels as possible.
The students were doing a STEAM lesson. The science (S) was her introduction, when she told the children where popcorn is grown, its history and how it pops. The technology (T) was the research work online. The engineering (E) was the design of the container.
The art (A) was the decoration on the container, and the math (M) was the height limit for the sides of the containers, if they were boxes, measuring the amount of popcorn in each container, and reviewing the concept of volume.
Markham presented the lesson in various formats from students in kindergarten through fifth-grade. The older students did more independent research.
When it was time to measure the popcorn, the children scooped it into a milliliter-graduated container.
Zion McKenzie, 7, made a popcorn holder that held 400 milliliters of the snack.
"I learned that the more space you have, the more (popcorn fits)," he said
Ava Sepulveda, 6, made a bag that held 300 milliliters. She said she learned that popcorn is "corn on a cob" and comes from a farm.
Jace Grullon, 7, who fashioned a cylinder-shaped container, said his favorite part of the lesson was "getting to know about science."
At the end of class, the children had colored containers full of popcorn. And the munching began.