Avocado Elementary In-Class Activity

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Project Cornerstone's Crystal Howard and Alyssa Burley, along with Hanson Aggregates' Eric Inouye visited Ms. Gillis' fourth grade class at Avocado Elementary School in El Cajon, CA.

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The students learned about construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) used to product concrete and asphalt products, and how they are used to build our communities' infrastructure.

In small groups, the students tested two aggregates samples using a sieve.  One sample included river sand and the other had beach sand.  They were able to determine river sand is best for making concrete.

Then, the students made their own small batches of concrete.  Each student choose a mold to pour their concrete into.  Once the concrete was hard, they were able to take them home. 

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Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Diego Valley Charter School, Lakeside Campus

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On February 9, 2016, Project Cornerstone visited Diego Valley Charter School Lakeside campus. 

The class of fourteen high school students learned about the importance of local construction aggregates in their every day lives.

Students tested two types of sand (i.e., river and beach) to see which is best for making concrete, by performing a sieve (gradation) analysis.  Each student determined if their hypothesis was correct and graphed their results.  Students were also given a word problem where they had to figure out the cost of sand and transportation if one sand source was located 25 miles away and another 90 miles away.  They were shocked to see the drastic difference in cost based on the source's location.  At the end of the class, students mixed their own small batches of concrete using sand, gravel, recycled aggregate, cement, and water.  They poured their concrete mixtures into various molds.  Once the concrete was hard enough, they were able to take them home.

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Photos by Alyssa Burley

Project Cornerstone Visits 5th & 6th Graders at Rohr Elementary

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On January 20th, 2016, Project Cornerstone visited with 56 students at Rohr Elementary School in Chula Vista, CA.

The 5th and 6th grade students from Ms. Gurrero's and Mr. Talbot's classes participated in Project Cornerstone's lesson on construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) used in building materials like concrete and asphalt products.

The two classes learned how construction aggregates are used to build homes, roads, bridges, schools, etc. in the community, and where the materials are naturally found throughout the county.

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Each student developed a hypothesis for which type of sand (i.e., river or beach) they thought was best for making concrete based on what they learned in the lecture and their own observation.  Then, in small groups, the students used a sieve and scale to analyze the two sand samples.  Looking at the data collected, the students determined river sand is best from making concrete.

After completing the sieve analysis, one student excitedly said, "I want to do this everyday!"  Another student said with a giant grin on her face, "Yay! We did this last year."

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Students then made their own concrete using the correct proportions of sand, gravel, cement and water.  They witnessed first-hand the hydration process which transforms the liquid concrete mixture into a solid building material.

Photos by Alyssa Burley

In-Class Activities at Lindo Park School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On January 11th through 14th, 2016, Project Cornerstone took part in the Eye on Science week at Lindo Park School in Lakeside, CA. 

Over 200 students from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes participated in Project Cornerstone's lesson on construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) used in building materials like concrete and asphalt products.

The students gained knowledge about how construction aggregates are used to build homes, roads, bridges, schools, etc. in the community, and where the materials are naturally found throughout the county. 

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Based on the lecture and observation, students developed a hypothesis for which type of sand (i.e., river or beach) they thought was best for making concrete and why.  Then, in small groups the students used a sieve and scale to analyze the two sand samples.  Looking at the data collected, the students determined river sand is best from making concrete because it will allow the hydration process to occur between the cement and water.

Students used their new found knowledge about construction aggregates to make their own small batches of concrete.  Using the correct proportions of sand, gravel, cement and water, the students witnessed first hand the hydration process which transforms the liquid concrete mixture into a solid building material.

Throughout the week, students enjoyed the hands-on in-class activity.  One 5th grade student said, "I love science, now," after completing the in-class activities.  A 3rd grade student said, "this is awesome!" when asked how they liked the science activities.  "Science is my favorite," a 4th grader said as they finished up making concrete.

In-Class Activities with Students from Hancock Elementary

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Photo courtesy of Google.

Photo courtesy of Google.

On Thursday, December 3rd and 10th, 2015, Project Cornerstone visited 78 second grade students at Hancock Elementary in the San Diego community of Tierrasanta.

Mrs. Hess, Mrs. Doran and Mrs. Gapasin's classes enjoyed learning about the importance of local construction aggregates. 

The class activities began with an introduction to construction aggregates.  Then, the class split into two groups in order to perform a sieve analysis on an aggregate sample.  One group tested a sample that included river sand, while the other group tested a sample with beach sand.  As a class, they figured out which sample would be best for making concrete.  The students were then able to make their own concrete.  Using silicone molds, the students made concrete owls, penguins, footballs, bugs and much more.

The students were excited to do some hand-on science.  One student exclaimed, "this isn't play time, or snack time. This is science time!," as she enthusiastically made her way to the concrete making station.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

In-Class Activities with Students from Diego Valley Charter School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, Project Cornerstone's Crystal Howard and Alyssa Burley visited 18 juniors and seniors at Diego Valley Charter School in El Cajon, CA.

Students learned about the construction aggregates industry (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) and how they are used to build roads, homes and schools in their community.

The in-class program begins with a lecture about the local construction aggregates industry and sand shortage.  Next, students complete a lab experiment where they analyze construction aggregate samples (one with river sand and another with beach sand) using a sieve.  After looking at the collected data, students determine which sand type is best for making concrete.  Students graph their data in a pie chart and solve a word problem.  Last, students make small batches of concrete and use silicone molds of owls, bees, trucks, cars, footballs and more to form their concrete.  Students are able to see the chemical reaction that transforms the concrete from a liquid into a solid.  Each student is able to take their concrete projects home as a souvenir.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

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In-Class Activities with Students from Greenfield Middle School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone educated over 270 sixth-grade students in eight science classes about the importance of construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) at Greenfield Middle School on November 10th, 12th and 13th, 2015.

The in-class activities included three sections: a lecture about the importance of local construction aggregates, a lab experiment to test two sand samples to determine which type is best for making concrete, and a science project where the students made their own concrete projects.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Field Trip with Students from Frazier Elementary

Frazier Elementary School's Principal Kniseley tweets about the in-class activities.

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Friday, November 6, 2015, about 75 sixth-grade students from William H. Frazier Elementary School in Fallbrook, CA, visited Granite Construction's Rosemary's Mountain rock quarry in Fallbrook and participated in Project Cornerstone's in-class activities.

Crystal Howard, Alyssa Burley, and Jamie Metivier led the in-class activities which included a lecture about the local construction aggregates industry, a lab experiment where students analyzed sand samples to determine which type is best for making concrete, and a science project where students were able to make small concrete projects to take home.

 
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Photos by Alyssa Burley and Crystal Howard.

While at the quarry, Gary Nolan from Granite Construction led the students on an educational tour.  They learned where the construction aggregates used in concrete and asphalt products are mined and processed.  Students were able to see how the large rocks are processed and sorted into smaller rocks in order to be used for construction purposes.

Thank you Granite Construction for opening your rock quarry to these local sixth-grade students.

In-Class Science Activities with Central Elementary Students

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Wednesday, September 29, 2015, Project Cornerstone's Crystal Howard and Alyssa Burley visited three 5th-grade classes at Central Elementary in San Diego, CA.

Students learned about construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) and how they are used to build roads, homes and schools in their communities.

The in-class program included a lecture about the local construction aggregates industry and sand shortage, a lab experiment where students analyzed sand samples to determine which type is best for making concrete, and a science project where students were able to make small concrete to take home.

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Project Cornerstone will return to Central Elementary on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 to visit two more 5th-grade classes.