Students make infographics to communicate the indirect and direct human effects on biomes, including Climate Change. They explore color theory, infographic layout, and font style to enhance the scientific information that they presented in their graphical stories. Sixth graders use what they learn about Climate Change and human impact to engage in a role-playing Climate Summit Agreement Game. Eight roles--the U.S., the European Union, China, India, Other Developed Nations, Other Developing Nations, the Fossil Fuel Industry, and Climate Activists--had to engage in an agreement to keep global temperature increase at or below 2 degrees Celsius based on criteria and constraints of their constituents. 

The Cell Project

Fifth-grade work begins with defining systems and exploring how systems work. We start by looking at the bicycle as an example of a system. We list its subsystems (parts), explore how the subsystems work together, and define the functions, inputs, and outputs. This gives us a framework to further understand how energy flows through a system and how systems are regulated by feedback loops.

To demonstrate their understanding of how a cell is a system, students build a 3D functional model of the cell and its parts. The model is actually an analogy and not a direct replica. Students build a model of an analogous system to make their knowledge of the function of the cell parts and their interactions visible.


Solar Oven Design & Build

During this unit students examine how heat gets transferred by conduction, convection, and radiation through a series of hands-on investigations and demonstrations and applied that knowledge to the Solar Oven Design and Build Project. Students applied their understanding of these topics in an engineering-design challenge, building a solar oven. Though their objective is to design and build a solar oven that would successfully melt the chocolate and marshmallow of a s'more, we connect science, engineering, and social justice by contextualizing why some people need to use solar. 



ExploraVision is a national competition for K-12 students that engages the next generation in real-world problem solving with a strong emphasis on STEM. ExploraVision challenges students to envision, develop, and communicate new technology 20 years in the future through collaborative brainstorming and research of current science and technology. For two months, the Burke’s Sixth grade picks a current area of technology, researches it, envisions what it might look like in 20 years, and describes the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles as a part of the ExploraVision Project. The project integrates science content with design thinking, engineering, technology, research, critical thinking, and creativity.



Other Projects & Activities…

Plastic-Free “Water Bottles”, Climate Change World Summit Agreement, Atom Model Project, Body System Game Design Project, Molecular Model Build, Homeostasis-Negative Feedback Loop Activity, Future Cities & Climate Change Design Project


Student Infographics


Solar Oven Design & Build


ExploraVision Projects


2018 Toshiba ExploraVision Science Competition in Sixth Grade

Honorable Mentions noted with an asterisk (*)

ADHGene: A nanobot technology that will edit one of the ADHD genes (PTCHD1) using CRISPR enzymes.

Adjust-A-Gene: A nanobot driven, gene therapy technology that will regenerate the motor neurons of ALS patients so they can regain their ability to move.

Asthmatibot: An A.I. nanobot that resides in and scans the lungs of asthmatics to capture, remove, and index irritants. The nanobot transforms the irritants into energy to recharge its batteries and extend its life.

Atomic ReBuild: A 3D printable, self-repairing house that regenerates building infrastructure damaged by natural disasters. The house consists of materials with sub-atomic artificial intelligence that repairs any structural damage.

BrainPrint: A technology that prevents the hacking of large databases by combining a fingerprint-recognizing keyboard with a brain scanner to identify the user.

Full Force Drone: A drone-driven technology that replants forests that are being deforested in real-time.

G. E. N. E. (Gene Engineered Nano E-Automation)*: A technology that will eliminate genetic depression by using a nanorobot to reconfigure the DNA of unborn babies who are at risk of genetic depression.

NanoViB: A nanorobot that mimics a virus and a cells antigen protein in order to trick brain cells into making more of themselves so that dyscalculia does not develop in utero.

Obesigene: A enzyme-laced nanocapsule that addresses genetic obesity by releasing machinery that rewrites the obesity gene (FTO) using CRISPR technology.

Pollution EndZyme*: A filter that uses modified, synthetic enzymes based on a plastic-eating fungus to break down plastics that would end up polluting the ocean.

RememberMe*: A nanobot technology that resides in the brain and cleans out amyloid plaques daily to resolve and prevent Alzheimer's.

ReTree*: A CRISPR-driven, genetically modified tree seed that addresses deforestation by regenerating itself once cut down.

Schizo-Bot*: A nanobot technology that relieves people of schizophrenic symptoms by relocating the dopamine from the synapses that should not be firing to the synapses that should be firing.

2017 Toshiba ExploraVision Science Competition in Sixth Grade

Honorable Mentions noted with an asterisk (*)

Regional Winner noted with (**)

FastFinder* : Will decrease the number of kidnappings by tracking and monitoring health stats of the child and taking videos of the kidnapping event.

Blood Clot Tracker* : A device that travels through a person's veins using sound vibration to disintegrate blood clots.

SDW** (Speech Disorder Watch) : A technology that allows people with Apraxia to communicate with the world.

Brain Aid : A capsule that can heal parts of the brain after trauma.

Azalea 2.0 : A sustainable floating city that will replace land loss during sea level increase due to global warming.

HydroBeetle : A car that powers itself using rain water and air moisture collected on the frame.

Seeing Drunk*: A device that can tell if a driver is drunk or not by using an advanced form of biometrics to determine how fast or slow their eyes perceive light in order to prevent the driver from starting the car.

Hear With No Ear*: A microchip connected to an application that allows fully deaf people of all ages to learn language skills and communicate clearly by typing on a phone.

SpineStrips: A technology to cure scoliosis without damaging the spine.

L.O.C.K.S (Lots of control keypads security): Prevents criminals from escaping with valuables by locking down the home quietly and quickly.

Nano Chip: A technology implanted in the brain that monitors neurotransmitters to address the problems created in addict’s brains due to drug addiction.

Invision: Lets the blind see their surroundings by using a microchip, a video camera, and a contact lens.


The Cell Project