This term, the two 1/2 neighbourhoods have been coming together on a Friday to share and collaborate on various STEM projects. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
By participating in STEM projects, students are encouraged to draw upon a wide range of skills, such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, teamwork and communicating. This approach to learning helps students to construct their own knowledge and understandings, versus being told and lectured. These are components that are relatable with every child, as they acknowledge individual talents, curiosities, and capabilities in figuring out a solution.
Hands on projects were designed to allow students to work together with various members of the neighbourhoods and allow for students to think, plan and test.
Our first STEM project was making playdough. Playdough is a fantastic way for children to experiment to see how the different ingredients combine with each other and to learn about the science of mixtures, solutions and chemical reactions. Students analysed the various ingredients laid out for them and shared their knowledge about what they saw.
Children problem solved when their mixture didn’t look or feel right – do I need more water, flour or salt?
Our second STEM project was one that involved design thinking! Students were given the challenge of getting animals from one side of a river to the other. They needed to make a bridge. We asked the students what they know about bridges and what bridges needed:
We know that bridges are strong and hard Aslan
They have stuff that people hold on when they are walking on the bridge Matthew
They need rails, so people don’t fall off Marlo
They normally have legs so if they didn’t have legs they would just collapse right down. You need legs but they have to go under the water cause if they go on the surface of the water they will fall to the bottom of the water and the bridge would fall down with it. They need legs that touch the bottom of the water Marlo
The students worked together to design, create and test their bridges.
We will continue to use our Friday sessions to expand our STEM brains!