May 2, 2019

posted May 2, 2019, 2:57 PM by James Falletti

Attention 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders

As we QUICKLY approach the end of the year, so does our 8 month project that we started back in October. Here is a"brief" description of what is needed and what is expected by the time we turn everything in on May 21, 2019.  

  • The last day to work on your project in Monday, May 20, 2019

  • Set up for the Fine Arts & STEAM Festival is on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 after lunch

  • You will present your projects: Future City (7th & 8th Grades) and Planetary Colony (6th Grade). There is a presentation during the school day for the students and one at night from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

You are getting Graded on four (4) aspects of the project with four (4) separate grades. Please make sure that you complete all these tasks prior to Tuesday, May 21, 2019. SEE THE EMAIL WITH ALL THE EXPECTATIONS THAT I SENT A FEW WEEKS AGO. Here are the four (4) Final Project  Grades

  • Final Project: Model (10 Points)

    • Check your SCALE (I will literally come around with a ruler)

  • Final Project: Binder (10 Points)

    • Budget, Designs, Research, Plans, Images, Essay

  • Final Project: Essay (10 Points)

    • 1,500 Word MAXIMUM (you must share it with me via Google Drive AND print it for your binder)

  • Final Project: Google Slide (10 Points)

    • This is an extension of your ESSAY but with images and organization since it's a presentation (MUST SHARE WITH ME VIA GOOGLE DRIVE)

Time is NOT on our side - but you got this as long as you work together and communicate. Here is the timeline of what is left for you to work IN SCHOOL

If you have to bring pieces of your project home, you may do so. You should also work on your essay, binder, and/or google slide at home too. DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE. I would hate to keep you off Honor Roll because you did not complete your project for my class.

A Few Additional Reminders:

  • Check the Budget Template that I email your today. Please complete this and put it in your binder.

  • Your Tri-Fold Poster is not needed, but will be accepted as Extra Credit

  • Keep Cleaning up after yourselves and leave your makerspace organized and neat

  • Look at the EMAIL that I sent you with everything you must include in your project - There are NO SURPRISES!

  •'s almost over.

I am so proud of all the teams for all your hard work and dedication. If you check your grades in Parent/Student Portal and see that you have a grade that's less than an "S", don't worry, just keep working and make sure you complete your project with your team.


Warmest Regards,

James M. Falletti

Tech Integrator/STEM Instructor

January 22, 2019: Future City Specifics

posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:44 PM by James Falletti

Staying Alive

It’s 100 years into the future, and all the nations of the world decided to either revamp a current city already developed or build brand new state-of-the art city. As public officials of the city, the choice is yours. To prosper, your Future City will need to "solve" the problems listed below (more or less in order of importance).

  1. Water Supply -- Where is the next drink of water going to come from?

    1. Water Treatment

    2. Water Recycling

    3. Water Conversion Plants (salt to fresh)

    4. Water Towers/Storage Systems

  2. Food Production -- Will you grow your own, or live on freeze-dried Big Macs?

    1. Food Diversity

    2. Food Supply vs. Demand

    3. Futuristic Gardening Techniques

  3. Waste Management -- Recycling is key and nothing can be wasted.

    1. Sewage Treatment

    2. Recycling Management

    3. Garbage Facilities

  4. Heating and Cooling -- How does the city keep from burning up or freezing to death?

    1. Location Dependent

  5. Energy -- Will you rely on solar, atomic, or wind energy, or on something else?

    1. Renewable Energy

    2. Futuristic Energy Sources

    3. Clean Energy Sources

  6. Education - your city is a city built from ideas and knowledge? Where are they going to learn?

    1. Schools

    2. Colleges/Universities

    3. Explain your School System

    4. Cost/Availability

  7. Residential Zones -- Above ground or below the surface?

    1. Individual housing?

    2. Apartments?

    3. Comfort Level

    4. Amenities

    5. Multi-Functional Buildings

  8. Industrial Zones -- How do you make the thing you need?

    1. Factories

    2. Green Conscious

    3. Pollution Control

  9. Commercial Zones -- Where and how are your citizens going to buy supplies?

    1. Location

    2. Multi-Functional Buildings

    3. Accessibility  

  10. Transportation -- How are you going to get around on Mars? Walk, fly, or drive?

    1. Availability

    2. Traffic

    3. Futuristic Design and Abilities

    4. Pollution Factor

    5. Space Ports? Teleportation? Monorails? Etc...

  11. Communication -- How will you stay in touch with the folks at home?

  12. Laws and Government -- Who's in charge?

    1. City Hall

    2. Government Buildings/Offices

    3. Futuristic Design

    4. Explain your system of government

  13. Recreation Areas -- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

    1. Parks

    2. Green Zones

    3. Sports (Arenas, Fields)

    4. Theatres/Music Halls

    5. Museums

    6. Explain Culture opportunities in your city

  14. Air Supply -- If you run out, you're in big trouble.

    1. Location - underwater/underground/in orbit

    2. Air Treatment Plants

    3. Tubing & Transport

    4. Air Recycling Plant

    5. Air Storage Tanks

    6. Oxygen Production

Build It on Paper

Students are capable of creating complex and thoughtful designs with little more than a pen, pencil, graph paper, and imagination. It's not absolutely necessary to understand every detail of a system's operation to incorporate it into your Future City’s plan. A waste recycling center could be as simple as a box labeled "Waste Conversion," or it could contain detailed plans for filtration beds, atmospheric CO2 scrubbers, and the works. A side benefit of this process is that you and your team begin to learn the basics of blueprint and map reading.

Your team will choose a scale that you will build your city with. 1 inch  equals 10/20/60/70/100 feet

Students may draw on many sheets of paper before he arrives at a design he's happy with. Once the design has been created, you and your team will build a 3D Model of your Future City.

Build Your 3D Model

A rough scale model of your Future City can be built using found objects ranging from blocks, cardboard, and Lego pieces, to recycled plastic soda bottles and plastic cake and pie covers for domes. As in any project involving imagination and discovery, the sky is literally the limit.


October - December: Research

December - January: Planning

February - April: Building

March - April: Continue to Build / Presentation (Poster and Google Slides)

April: Finalization and Presentation

Remember that the project is Due in April

Welcome to the Future!

October 2, 2018

posted Oct 3, 2018, 2:24 PM by James Falletti   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 2:26 PM ]

As discussed in class, after reading the Future City Competition Program Handbook, I have come to understand that it would actually be better to work on the Future City Essay first while working on your research. Why? On page 30 of the Future City Competition Program Handbook it gives you a list of questions that you need to answer your essay, which then builds the creative foundation needed to plan and design your Future City - leading your team to then build your actual city to scale.

Homework: You and your Group must complete the questions from Page 30 of the Future City Competition Program Handbook on your Google Doc that has been shared with everyone in your group through Google Drive - and start your first draft of your essay. All documents must be submitted through your Google Account which should be labeled: Grade and Section + the group number and Future City Project as it is provided here 8A-2 Future City Project 


What is Future City?

posted Oct 3, 2018, 2:08 PM by James Falletti

What is Future City?

Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Past topics include stormwater management, urban agriculture, public spaces, and green energy. The 2018-2019 theme is Powering Our Future! Teams will design a resilient power grid for their future city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.

Participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model built from recycled materials; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the Finals in Washington, DC in February. After completing Future City, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, but also poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.

Engineering and so much more

This flexible, cross-curricular educational program gives students an opportunity to do the things that engineers do—identify problems; brainstorm ideas; design solutions; test, retest and build; and share their results. This process is called the engineering design process. With this at its center, Future City is an engaging way to build students’ 21st century skills. Students participating in Future City:

  • Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues

  • Develop writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills

  • Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges

  • Discover different types of engineering and explore careers options

  • Learn how their communities work and become better citizens

  • Develop strong time management and project management skills

Future City Competition Video

posted Oct 3, 2018, 1:47 PM by James Falletti

Future City Competition

Future City Project: January 16, 2018

posted Jan 16, 2018, 11:47 AM by James Falletti

Today we further discussed your Future City Project. Future City is a project-based learning program where students in Middle School  imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Here are the facts about the project:

  • Students have been broken up into three (3) groups

  • One (1) student has been selected  as a project manager

  • One (1) Binder is needed: 1.5” - 2.0”

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

  • Groups must research a country where their chosen SDG would have the greatest impact: Nigeria, India, China, United States, Greece, Colombia, ...whatever you want.

  • Once you chose the Country that best fits your needs, research a specific city that you will focus on.

  • Research the following information:

    • Continent

    • Country

    • Neighboring Country(ies)

    • Terrain (Coastal, Mountains, Desert, etc…)

    • Climate

    • Natural Resources

    • Average Income

    • Typical Jobs

    • Religion(s)

    • Language(s)

    • Education

    • Health Issues and Life Expectancy

    • Population

    • Demographics

    • Government

    • Leisure Activities

    • Family Life

    • Type of Housing

  • What is the challenge you will try to solve?

  • What Solutions have they tried?

    • What has been tried?

    • Success/Failure

    • Reasons

  • What will you try to do? Why?

  • Each group will create a trifold Brochure (more information will be provided)

  • Each group will create a presentation on Google Slide or a Video about their Future City and how it has changed with your ideas and innovations

  • Each group will present a graphic rendition of their Future City

  • Each group will provide an Essay discussing their Future City and;

    • Where their city was and where it is now after you addressed the SDG’s

    • How your designs have changed not only the city your discussing, but surrounding cities and towns

    • What your Future City offers

    • Minimum of 3 - 5 pages

  • Each group will build a portion of their Future City, so follow these instructions:

    • Your group has a cap of $100.00 for their project. Your team must keep a detailed list of everything spent on building this project. NO TEAM MAY EXCEED $100.00.

    • Teams should look for recycled materials to keep the cost down.

    • Each group MUST build their Future City on a piece of Plywood. Talk to each team to split the difference.

    • Communicate with each other and each team

    • Their needs to be at least two moving features

      • Electric

      • Mechanical

      • Hydraulics

      • Other

    • Include Energy Sources

      • Wind

      • Solar

      • Water

      • Nuclear

      • Renewable or Non-Renewable Resources

      • Other

    • Teams may use the following materials and objects to make their projects meet the creativity or ART aspect of STEAM by using:

      • Lights

      • Model Material (trees, bushes, animals, people, etc…)

      • Paint

      • Wiring

      • Cars

      • Other

Emma Watson Introduces the World's Largest Lesson

Future City Competition Overview

December 12, 2017

posted Dec 13, 2017, 8:39 AM by James Falletti

Log in to with the credentials that I gave you in class and practice. Here's how you're going to get graded each week.

  • Play Four (4) to Seven (7) Days with 7 Battles to get an "O"

  • Play Three (3) days minimum with 7 Battles to get an "S"

  • Anything less than three (3) days and less than 7 Battles will result in a lower grade

  • Not logging in and practicing will result in a Zero (0)

Bonus Points for anyone who practices Five (5) Days with 10 Battles over the Christmas Break

Also - students need to bring in a one (1) subject notebook to class every week.

  • write your username and password for both your email, prodigy, and any other school program that you use.

  • use the pages as a doodle notebook where you can

    • write out the problems from prodigy as scrap paper

    • design and create ideas for the makerspace

    • brainstorm

Attached, you'll find a file with some problems with fractions with step by step instructions on how to figure out the answer. Feel free to use the following link to help you with your problems as a way to check your answers:

October 24, 2017

posted Oct 24, 2017, 8:20 AM by James Falletti

Today was Brain Game Day in the Makerspace!

We played with Circuit Maze (Lessons on Circuits), Gravity Maze (Lesson on Movement and Energy), Laser Maze (Lesson on Angles and How Lasers work), Rush Hour (Thinking game), Trivia, and Dice Games (for probability). It's always a great time when students can learn and have fun doing it.

October 17, 2017

posted Oct 17, 2017, 9:05 AM by James Falletti

I think I may have melted your brain a little bit today - and that's okay! We discussed and tinkered with Google Sheets, which is the Google form of Microsoft Excel. We created a Data Chart, Used the Data to make a Column Bar Chart/Graph, and Plugged in some basic formulas to find the Mean, Median, and Mode. Attached tot his post is a link to the actual Google Sheet that we worked on. 

Homework: Finish your Google Sheet by finding the Mean, Median, and Mode for each of the Columns and Rows. 
Mean (Average) =AVERAGE(#:#)
Median =MEDIAN(#:#)
Mode =MODE(#:#)

Here's a screenshot of what we worked on today:

October 10, 2017

posted Oct 10, 2017, 12:46 PM by James Falletti

Today we reviewed and discussed your Google Slides - providing group constructive criticism and support. Next week we shall explore Google Sheets

Google Spreadsheets is a Web-based application that allows users to create, update and modify spreadsheets and share the data live online. The Ajax-based program is compatible with Microsoft Excel and CSV (comma-separated values) files. Spreadsheets can also be saved as HTML.

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