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Spring Creek’s Kimberly Martinez published their article, S.T.E.A.M. Friday in Rossiter’s 4th Grade Class, which we’ve used to springboard our article. For more pictures and further information, please visit their website and article.

The building blocks to life’s greatest lessons generally require hands-on experience. It takes falling and getting up again, and it can often take the advice and support of your peers. 

Linda Rossiter’s 4th-grade class recently embarked on a mini-lesson focusing on energy transfer and collision using dominoes, proving this maxim true.

Provo City School District’s Spring Creek Elementary School has been making great strides in incorporating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education into its curriculum. Linda Rossiter, a 4th-grade teacher, has been at the forefront of this effort with her innovative lessons and engaging activities. 

Here’s the state core strand covered by her lesson:


Energy is present whenever there are moving objects, sound, light, or heat. The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses. When objects collide, energy can be transferred from one object to another, causing the objects’ motions to change. Energy can also be transferred from place to place by electrical currents, heat, sound, or light. Devices can be designed to convert energy from one form to another.

With the standard in mind, students stacked dominoes to explore the principles of potential and kinetic energy and the transfer of power from one object to another, observing how different configurations affect energy transfer. They broke down their strand by practicing four strand standard-based skills:

Standard 4.2.1: Construct an explanation to describe the cause-and-effect relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object. 

Standard 4.2.2: Ask questions and make observations about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. 

Standard 4.2.3: Plan and investigate to gather evidence from observations that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electrical currents. 

Standard 4.2.4: Design a device that converts energy from one form to another.

Students hypothesized cause-and-effect energy relationships using their prior lessons to ask questions, make observations, and investigate evidence related to energy transferral through a device, being their domino configurations. This hands-on, interactive learning experience can help students better understand energy transfer and conservation, fundamental concepts in STEM education. Moreover, by engaging in structured, play-based learning, students can develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills essential for success in STEM fields and beyond.

Overall, Linda’s students started culminating skill sets that will lead to well-rounded STEM students– a worthy transfer of Rossiter’s energy. Spring Creek Elementary School is fortunate to have such dedicated and innovative teachers like Linda Rossiter, who are committed to providing a well-rounded education that includes STEAM education.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei