Friday September 16,2016 was our first STEM Day of the 16/17 school year at St. Barnabas School. In Mrs. Wormald’s class and across the grade level, 4th graders spent an educational and fun afternoon engineering a 10″ tower to protect cane toads from being eaten by alligators. They had two tools, a ruler and scissors. They had two materials, 3 x 5 index cards and masking tape.
Students worked collaboratively in groups of 4 to design and create a tower that would hold our makeshift cane toad, little Mr. Stuffed Turtle. I am so proud of every single one of these amazing young people!
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In order for a lesson to be considered a STEM lesson, it must include two or more of these four disciplines. Your student should be able to tell you what two simple questions they must ask themselves in order to determine if something is “technology”. The questions start with “Is it _______?” and “Does it _________?” Technology includes way more than you might think! I’ll give you a hint: a spoon is technology. Ask your student to tell you why, and how they can determine for themselves if something is technology with those two simple questions.
We have a dedicated school-wide STEM day every month at St. Barnabas. However, we are working hard to make sure that we integrate as much STEM as possible every day. By teaching lessons that include more than one type of curriculum, students quickly begin to see how their daily activities at school apply to their real life. They connect skills and concepts across multiple areas of learning, reinforcing their true value. I try to integrate a little Science and Math into Social Studies as often as possible. We did that this week as we learned about the Electoral College, the act of voting, and what is actually required to win a Presidential election.
Thanks for sending me such an amazing group of young people to teach!
Joy and peace,
P.S. A special thank you to Julie Hosty for her dedication to our students, and her hard work in gathering and distributing the supplies we needed to make this first one of the year a success!! And to Ryan Schnarr, Megan Schaller, and Doug Bauman–the STEM Team teachers at St. Barnabas, for supporting and encouraging all of us.