Making the Ocean: an Immersive Experience for Fifth Graders

For the past four years, 5th grade students in Mr. Eric Ruppert's classroom have build a 55 foot model of the ocean. Students use recycled materials as well as a Makey Makey to create audio explanations of the model.

Christina Martin

Christina Martin

Christina Martin is the STEM Coordinator for Giles County Public Schools. She has worked in this position for the past three years and has helped develop and grow the Giles County STEM Program. Christina has a Bachelor's Degree from Radford University in Elementary Education. She also holds a Master's Degree in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech. Christina works collaboratively with classroom teachers to develop engineering-design based lessons and activities. She also coordinates after school STEM programs and a Summer STEM Camp.

Maker Image

Eric Ruppert

Eric is a 5th grade science teacher at Eastern Elementary/Middle School in Giles County. Eric is in his 16th year of teaching and holds a Master's Degree from Radford University in Middle School Science Education. Eric strongly believes in creating a culture of self-driven learning in his classroom. Eric utilizes many hands-on, interactive activities and lessons to actively engage his students in the learning process. For the past four years, Eric has worked with his students to create a 55 foot model of the ocean environment. As part of this project, students are responsible for deciding which elements of the ocean environment will be included and designing methods for accurately representing these elements. In addition, Eric strongly believes in utilizing technology in his classroom and uses technology resources to enhance his classroom lessons and activities.