Students Think like Engineers—and Design Homes for Hermit Crabs
“Hermit crabs are scavengers and will eat whatever you give them,” explains Khamryn Harvey, a 2nd grader at Waverly Elementary/Middle School—and a participant in Baltimore City Public Schools’ Summer Learning STEM Program. “They use their shell for protection and keep water in the back of it to warm up or cool off.”
Watching intently as a dozen or so hermit crabs move about four student-designed habitats, Khamryn and his classmates gather information about the crabs’ likes and dislikes. “Hermit crabs like fruit and vegetables the best, and they always go in the darkest part of each habitat,” says another 2nd grader, Adrienne Cooper. Using what she learned from observation, Adrienne shares fresh fruit with the crabs and tapes black construction paper around the outside to darken the habitat. She leaves one open flap so she and her classmates can peer inside.
“This program—and STEM in general—takes science to a whole new level,” Ms. Hayes says. “It teaches students that they are in fact scientists every day, because every day they’re observing someone on the bus, their mom making dinner, what have you—and every day they’re making sense of their observations and making predictions.”
Stay tuned for more about City Schools’ summer STEM program. And click here for news about the program’s culminating event on July 29.