STEM Lab – Ms. Branham

Eastvalley Elementary

STEM Lab Pages


Take a look at the STEM Lab pages (links on the orange notepad) to see what students are doing in their grade levels. You can find pics of students working and a little information about the challenges.

This quarter in the STEM Lab we are working on…

KindergartenStandard SPK2 – Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and describe different types of motion. Students will complete a Kinder STEM Unit on Motion.

1st GradeStandard S1P2 – Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to demonstrate the effects of magnets on other magnets and other objects. Students will complete a Mint Mobile challenge in which they will design, create and test a car that uses the force of magnets to drive it.

2nd GradeStandard S2P2 – Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain the effect of a force (a push or a pull) in the movement of an object. Students will complete a Nascar challenge in which they design, create and test a car to drive by the force of a push or a pull

3rd GradeStandard S3E2 – Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information on how fossils provide evidence of past organisms. Students will complete a Fossil excavation challenge  in which they design, create and test a structure that can be lower into a cave crevice to lift out fossils from 2 1/2 feet below.

4th GradeStandard S4E3 – Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to demonstrate the water cycle. Students will complete a Water Cycle board game challenge in which they design, create and test a board game that can be played to teach the water cycle.

5th Grade – Students will be using laptops and “Makey Makey” kits to explore circuits, coding and programming.

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I was able to purchase many terrific items for the STEM Lab last school year due to our wonderful Eastvalley Foundation! The money that was raised enabled me to purchase much needed consumable supplies, LEGOS, teacher STEM resources (Lego mat cards, cool challenges on TPT, etc…), new technology and an awesome rug for students to collaborate on. The STEM Lab requires a lot of materials that always need to be replenished. I can’t thank you enough for donating and allowing our EV students to have access to all of the cool things we purchased for the lab. Thank you so much for your ongoing support! I hope to purchase more supplies and technology this year after we have our 2018 Foundation fundraiser. Bring on the STEM challenges!

Here are a few pics of what your previous donations bought for the EV STEM Lab…








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Welcome to a New School Year!


The 2018 – 2019 STEM Lab Welcomes You!

Hi, I am Ms. Branham! I am so excited to teach a second year in the STEM Lab here at Eastvalley! 

In case you haven’t noticed, the STEM Lab has a new home. It is now located in room 10 on the second hallway. Please stop by and say hello and check out the new space!

More changes this year…I am now part of the specials rotation and will see all students in K- 5 on a 7 day rotation. This is terrific news! I can’t wait to start seeing students this Wednesday, August 1st!

The STEM Lab receives financial support from our outstanding EV Foundation, but also relies heavily on regular donations from our awesome parents. Thank you for all of the continuous supplies that you sent in last year – it really made our year great!

Items that are always needed in the STEM Lab include:

  • cereal boxes

  • shoe boxes

  • paper towel rolls

  • masking tape

  • glue sticks





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Cardboard Shoe Boxes Needed!


We are completing a habitat challenge with 3rd grade students and could use some cardboard shoe boxes. Please send in what you can- all sizes! Thank you, Ms. Branham

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New STEM tables!


I followed the “EDP” Engineering Design Process to create new work tables for our students.

The problem that needed to be solved: The tables were porous and absorbed all drawing materials and liquids that were used on them.

I imagined a design that would be a fun and creative work space for STEM that looked like a toolbox or something with metal and/or construction symbols.

Plan: I came up with a design that resembled a cool work shop table and then gathered the materials I had available to me.

Create/Test: I started painting layers on the tables before Fall break. As I painted I encountered problems with the paint coming off.

Evaluate/Improve: I repainted the tables with a primer and then other latex and acrylic paints to cover up my mistakes. I added layers of polyurethane to seal the paint.

Here is the result:

Before and after…




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1st Quarter STEM Lab Learning


1st – 5th graders have been developing and strengthening their critical thinking skills in the STEM Lab this quarter. All grades are learning to go through the steps of the Engineering Design Process as they complete projects and challenges related to their standards. They work in collaborative teams to come up with solutions for problems they are given by designing various models/structures that meet the criteria and constraints of their challenge.

Here’s a snapshot…

1st Graders worked in groups to design a model of a pool cover that would prevent evaporation. Then, they worked in teams to construct a lego pool with 4 sides and stairs that would hold water.








2nd Graders used various materials to create a structure that would melt ice the fastest after learning about the three states of matter.  2nd graders measured the rate in which the ice melted every 5 min. by using a popsicle stick and marker to record their findings. Most recently, 2nd graders observed and recorded seasonal changes in trees in their journals. They will then use their drawings to come up with a team design for a free-standing replica of the tree in each season. 




















3rd Graders worked in teams to design a Mineral Display Case that showcases a mineral and describes its physical attributes after learning about various rocks and mineral types.




















4th Graders are working together to design and create a board game to teach the water cycle.


























5th Graders developed well thought-out plans to create a multi-level structure that would withstand the lateral movements of an earthquake. They planned, created, and tested their models. After evaluating their designs, they made improvements and retested.


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Donations Needed!



Eastvalley’s new STEM Lab is up and running! Students are learning the steps to the “EDP” Engineering Design Process as they collaborate to successfully complete projects and challenges. I am planning a lot of engaging and creative lessons in the upcoming weeks and I need your help with some common household items. 

If you have an opportunity, please save and donate the following items to the STEM Lab. I will have labeled containers in the front of the school for the items -drop them off at any time!


Needed as soon as possible:

  • empty cereal boxes – (Please do NOT break them down)


Needed in the upcoming weeks:

  • empty paper towel rolls – we need about 100 rolls


  • empty plastic cylinder containers – about 100 coffee cans or plastic containers, rolled oats containers

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Early Release



Hello EV Parents!  This is just a reminder that this Wednesday, August 30th, Cobb County Schools will have Early Dismissal across the district for staff professional development.  Eastvalley students will begin dismissal at 12:30.  There will be no FAST Activities on Wednesday.  The After School Program will run from 12:45-6:00 PM.  Please make all necessary arrangements to ensure your child is dismissed safely and correctly on Wednesday, August 30th for Early Dismissal.  Thank you!

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2017 Solar Eclipse – Monday, August 21


Extended School Day August 21st

On August 21st, the Cobb County School District has extended the school day by 45 minutes as a result of the solar eclipse.  In preparation for the event, we purchased the NASA certified protection eyewear for our 4th and 5th grade students and teachers.  Only students in those grade levels will be allowed to view the eclipse live outside with proper eyewear and parent permission.  Permission slips will be sent home in Tuesday Tracker folders on August 15th and must be returned by Friday, August 18th.  Students in K-3rd grades will be allowed to watch a live stream of the event from their classrooms.  Any students that have a portable classroom will be brought into the cafeteria to watch a live stream of the event.  As always, you are allowed to check your student out prior to 2:00 pm. We are asking for no checkouts from 2:00pm – 3:00 pm. There will be additional support in the front office from 11:30-12:30 to assist with early checkouts.  Dismissal will begin at approximately 3:05 with bus students. Please feel free to call the school if you have any further questions or concerns.

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