Participating Schools

Below are the Taos schools participating in the Bio-Machine Design Challenge for the Pollinator Concentrator project. Each teacher integrates the BioSTEAM project into their curriculum and subject focus. It is exciting to see how each teachers' approach is uniquely adapted and origina in design. The culminating assignment is for all students to design a Bio-Machine for the pollinator-inspired design challenge. The final drawings will be displayed on our website for Earth Day 2021. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries. Stay tuned for more on the Bio-Machine Design Challenge.

1. Anansi Charter School

Partner: Kaila Dickey

Grade(s): 8th grade

School mission: Taos Charter School is a vibrant community of 213 students in grades K-8 and a faculty and staff that believes that all children can learn. Our mission is to deliver a college readiness curriculum to students from the Taos community resulting in high levels of academic achievement for all students. Our school climate is friendly and our culture is supportive and achievement-oriented. In addition to a rigorous academic program for all students, we offer daily physical education and bilingual instruction, weekly art and music classes, field trips that take advantage of our beautiful climate and mountains, and extra-curricular activities that include sports, arts, and STEAM events. Our vision is to be a community that loves to live, learn, and launch successful students into the world.

BioSTEAM Project:

FALL 2020. Pollinator Concentrator project. Our 7th graders will be designing their own Hunger Games style arena incorporating the biotic and abiotic components required to sustain an ecosystem. At the end of the project students will use the Pollinator Concentrator design challenge to embrace their creativity and incorporate what they have learned during their life science studies. The interviews and local art installation will be a grounding component and allow us to see the thriving ecosystems in their own backyard as well as the implications of ecosystem disruption.

SPRING 2021.STEAM in Space project. Our 8th graders will prevent an asteroid collision by learning about the forces of motion. At the end of this unit we will launch into the STEAM in Space project to think further outside the box with art! The design challenge will help students bring together everything they have learned about astrophysics and the universe and create something truly out of this world!

2. Taos Charter School

Partners: Katie Woodall, art teacher and Nat Evans, science teacher

Grade(s): 7th,8th grade

School mission: Taos Charter School is a vibrant community of 213 students in grades K-8 and a faculty and staff that believes that all children can learn. Our mission is to deliver a college readiness curriculum to students from the Taos community resulting in high levels of academic achievement for all students. Our school climate is friendly and our culture is supportive and achievement-oriented. In addition to a rigorous academic program for all students, we offer daily physical education and bilingual instruction, weekly art and music classes, field trips that take advantage of our beautiful climate and mountains, and extra-curricular activities that include sports, arts, and STEAM events. Our vision is to be a community that loves to live, learn, and launch successful students into the world. Please read more about our programs on the drop down menu above.

BioSTEAM Project:

Kids Intro: Be outside! Backyard observation, *sketching. Science teacher gives small lecture live about Pollinators: bee example-inter species relating. Meanwhile Teacher explores the Biosteam principles(Explore/Research/Experiment/Connect/Design). Align with teaching agenda for 7-8: Scientific theory principles and Science Fair steps. From Pollinators and Bees, continue--View some videos about strategies—good animation exposure—*response Drawings

Symbiotic relationships: Cultural ecology in Taos -Humans and nature via indigenous stories-Coyote, Hunting story-hunting season.* Drawings, illustrations, Mandalas? Close up observation: patterns, partner species, structural details for specific function. Figure out how, or if, can use Tech tools: Dynolytes, echometer? Mag glass, measuring, data? (*Graph paper) Choose some unique details to focus on in Biomachines. *sketch interesting transformers. (mix and match parts) Students share HOW?

Set up Biomimicry focus: Short animation on engineering from nature. Pivotal Text 20-minute video overview Janine Beynus (view 2x, notes second x) Several short videos nature inspired design-bats, butterfies. Also architecture, City design. Students begin hosting engineering strategies, preferred BIOMachine interests, systems? robots? fantasy art? They exchange ideas. Experiments-with filters, large ears, etc.* some playful sculpture and light activities. Students do Bio-Machine Design Challenge process as final.

3. Taos Cyber Magnet School

Partners: Kate Jensen

Grade(s): 7th-12th grade

School mission: Students of TCMS take online and traditional, teacher-led courses, and Edgenuity provides the online courses. This blended-learning environment provides the students with high quality instruction in core and elective classes with a heavy focus on STEAM.

BioSTEAM Project:

FALL 2020. BioSTEAM Machine Challenge – All students will be designing their own machine that is researched-based and addresses the topic of Biodiversity loss and pollinator decline. Students will tour the Rio Fernando Park and research one of North Americas six super pollinators.

SPRING 2021 Food Sovereignty project. All students will be working with a Native volunteer from Taos Pueblo to build an horno that will have the correct Geometric shape to allow for correct heating of food, after researching the pollinators that contribute to the food sources that will be used in the use of the horno. Upper classman will work with the Farm to Table project in an internship capacity, facilitating the growth and distribution of locally grown food to the local schools, including Taos Cyber Magnet.

4. Taos High School

Partner: Justine Carryer, Math Teacher

Grade(s): 16-19

Mission: We believe Taos High School will prepare all students for success in any field they choose to pursue.

BioSTEAM Project:

FALL 2020. We are beginning the year with an exploration of sequences and patterns found around us. Our first week has taken us down to Quartzite Launch Ramp for a virtual field trip where I have asked students to identify patterns that they see in the Rio Grande Gorge. After defining arithmetic and geometric sequences, we are exploring the Fibonacci Sequence and will model sequences as functions. Our first BioSTEAM project will have students choose a phenomena to study as a pattern, sequence, and model as a function in preparation for launching the BioSTEAM design challenge as a semester project where we will analyze raw bat data and model data with our knowledge of functions. To introduce the challenge, students will go on a virtual field trip of Fred Baca park to the pollinator concentrator as part of our unit on quadratics. From there we will integrate pollinators as our semester theme for exploration and discovery.

5. Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA)

Partner: Gina Gargone 6-8th grades Science, Art Integration & STEM Teacher and Sally Greywolf  6-8th grades ELA, SS, Art Integration & STEM Teacher

Grade(s): 6th-8th grade

School mission:The Taos Integrated School of the Arts, in partnership with parents and community, provides K-8 students in the Taos Municipal School District with the opportunity to reach their maximum potential through a standards-based, multicultural, thematic, and arts-integrated curriculum. Art-integration creates more meaningful learning through using the arts-visual art, drama, music, dance-as a catalyst to create broader and deeper learning experiences. Taos is a multicultural community steeped in artistic tradition. We wish to found a school that provides students with a multicultural worldview while utilizing thematic units and the arts to facilitate academic learning. Our mission is to educate the whole child in order to cultivate in young people the skills, knowledge, and values they need to reach their highest potential.

BioSTEAM Project: Fall 2020 Biomachines for Sustainability and Evolution: Within the fluid framework of bioinspiration and the arts, TISA students envision and design an array of biomachines that provide creative solutions to the evolving challenges of 2020. Sustainable solutions continually evolve through nature as life on the planet unfolds over the years. “The Namib desert beetle collects water by condensing fog into water droplets in the bumps on its shell, why don’t we design knobbed cloud nets that can divert water into extinguishing efforts for large fires?” These are the kinds of questions TISA students are asking as they identify problems that need to be solved and look to the natural world for solutions.  The imaginative mimicry of nature has led teams of TISA students to propose innovative solutions as part of their biomachine products for the Biomachine Design Challenge, State STEM Challenge and the NM Future Cities Challenge. Currently, TISA students are moving from napkin sketches and creative narratives to originative designs leading to tangible artwork and the construction of both simulated and physical prototypes. From cloud nets that support self-extinguishing forest fires to synthetic air-purifying leaves that convert CO2 into usable energy to household biogas conversion gadgets to air filtration towers, students are envisioning an array of nature-inspired technology.  Students will complete their artwork and prototype models by Winter Break.

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6. Taos Middle School

Partners: Christine Autumn, art teacher

Grade(s): Middle school

Mission:

Here at Taos Middle School we are committed to educational excellence, which is promoted through a diverse curriculum, a dedicated and knowledgeable staff, and school/community partnerships. Academic emphasis on the core content areas of reading, language arts, science, social studies and math will remain a priority as well as providing a learning program that builds on each year to reach local and state standards.

Collaboration, cooperation and open communication between home and school are keys to building a strong foundation for a successful school year. I encourage and invite parent and community involvement in an effort to build a positive and successful educational experience. I invite parents and grandparents of the students to get involved at Taos Middle School. This is a great way to meet other parents of students from the community and to plan for a great school year together.

BioSTEAM Project:

Our 6-8th grade will be making a design of their favorite pollinator. So far, they have learned some vocabulary, seen some video's, and are learning about their pollinator. The big discussion- What is a pollinator concentrator and how will we create one on paper. The idea is to generate talk about the organism and its environment hence the whole process. How do you show this process in art?( Ana MacArthur). In step three they will discuss their design and tell me what medium they will use.