Elementary Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM)
Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathmatics (STEM Enrichment)
Have you considered how often we experience STEM in our lives? Science is our natural world— sun, moon and stars…lands and
oceans…weather, natural disasters, the diversity of nature, animals (large, small, microbial)…plants and food…the fuel that heats our homes and powers transportation…The list is almost endless. In today’s world, technology means computers and smartphones, but it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, the compass, and even the first wheel. Yes, engineering designs buildings, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today’s challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems. We only have to look around to see what improvements to our lives and our homes have been engineered in the last decade alone. We encounter mathematics at the grocery store, the bank, on tax forms, in dealing with investments and the family budget. Every other STEM field depends on mathematics. STEM is important, because it pervades every aspect of our lives.
The STEM enrichment is a 35 minute class and will take the place of the computer enrichment time during the normal enrichment rotation. Each quarter will focus on each of the areas. The first quarter is Science- Students will engage in a quarter long forensic investigation. Students will organize, collaborate, collect evidence, analyze fiber identification, and collect soil samples and even do a fingerprint and DNA identification. Second quarter is Technology- using Animation Studio, students will create their own stop animation movie. Students will record, edit, and complete an entire mini-movie to present to students, staff, and parents. Third quarter-Engineering- using structural kits, students will explore ways that our life is supported using manmade materials. Models include houses, suspension bridges, cable-stayed bridges, arch bridge, and two truss bridges. Activities also include experiments and detailed explanations of the different technological principles. Fourth quarter is all about math. Using virtual manipulatives that are related to standards and Unifix cubes, students will be intrigued and challenged with various real-world problems as we add a little “art” to this field! At the end of each quarter, a guest whose career relates to the stem discipline being studied will be invited to share with the students.