Cross-curricular STEM Project Takes Haunted Houses to a New Height

Ascension Episcopal School
Second-grade students recently finished designing haunted houses as part of an innovative STEM project. “Halloween is one of the students' favorite holidays, so we knew this project would be a big hit,” says Marci Hebert, 2nd-grade teacher. This cross-curricular project involved multiple teachers and departments as students built and decorated their haunted houses, added lights and sounds, and put them together for a spooky show! ...
Students began this project by choosing Halloween symbols. Then, art teacher, Danielle Bacque, showed students how to incorporate lines, texture, and perspective when designing. After a bit of planning, it was time to design the inside of the rooms. Students added hand-crafted 3D objects such as pumpkins, ghosts, and witches to their rooms, and working collaboratively, began to embellish their Haunted houses. 

Next, teachers challenged students to light up a room in their haunted houses. After discussing electricity and items needed to make a circuit (bulb, a battery, and a switch), they applied their knowledge and lit up their houses using LED lights, a coin battery, and a switch. “They were in awe as they watched the light glow and change colors! It was fascinating to watch how difficult concepts such as electricity and circuits were brought to life and simplified through hands-on practice,” says Morgan Vondenstein, Director of Educational Technology.  Click HERE to watch their discovery!

​​The final piece of the haunted house was adding spooky sounds. In the innovation lab, students recorded spooky noises inside Scratch, a coding platform, and then added blocks of code in a particular sequence to make unique sounds play in each room. “Seeing students record their own voices and then program them into their haunted houses was exciting. They didn’t even realize they were learning coding skills like sequencing, cause and effect, and problem-solving because they were so engaged in making their vision come to life!” says Alyana Campbell, Innovation Lab teacher. 

“Hands-on, cross-curricular projects allow students to creatively express themselves, work together collaboratively, deepen their understanding of concepts, and utilize technology in new ways. It was great to see the kids smiling and having fun. This project is definitely a keeper!” says Mrs. Vondenstein.

Click HERE to see a final product with sounds, lights, and circuits!
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