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STEM Program

3-5 STEM ClassTop of Page

Bone Bridges

For our first STEM project, students were asked to build a bridge for either weight or capacity. Students were given specific criteria in order to build their bridges.
 
Students were given the exact same amount and type of materials to begin building their bridges.
  • Clothespins
  • Q-tips
  • Jumbo craft sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Straws
The bridge had to be at least 2 inches tall and 8 inches wide. Students were given rulers to measure their bridges and make sure they were following the guidelines.
 
Once their bridge was complete and met the measurement guidelines, students began stacking pennies on their bridges to see how many they could fit without the bridge collapsing or pennies sliding off.
 
One student fit 284 pennies on her bridge! 

Water Slide

For the month of January, students will design and build a water slide!
 
The guidelines for the water slide are:
  • Can't leak
  • Can't fall apart
  • A little figurine has to be able to slide down safely
 
Students were not limited on materials for this project; they were able to use empty water bottles, foil trays, straws, pipe cleaners, etc.
 
We were able to reach out to Holiday World for this project, and see the live feed of their newest water slide currently being built, the Cheetah Chaser. Students learned where Holiday World gets their slides (ProSlides, out of Canada) and we discussed how the slides manage to make it all the way to Santa Claus from Canada! They learned that theme park engineers put the slides together once they are delivered.
 
We are still working on this, and are excited to see these slides in action at the end of the month!

6-8 STEM ClassTop of Page

sphero Bolts

Students were able to explore with iPad app powered robots. The sphero Bolts are sphere-shaped robots, that will move based on the code a student programs.
The easiest way to program these little balls of fun would be to use the draw feature. Students can simply design a pattern for the Bolt to follow using the grid.
 
Taking coding a step further, students are able to change the speed, direction, color, sound, light pattern and so much more using the programming blocks.
 
More advanced skills involve programming the Bolts using JavaScript.

Electrical Engineer

Middle school students are learning about how electricity works, and what an electrical engineer does on the job.
 
Students are also learning that electrical engineers are responsible for solving problems related to electricity. Electricity is a valuable resource that is still not available all over the world.
 
Introducing new terminology and asking challenging questions are helping students think outside the box and expand their knowledge-base on a seemingly simple, every day utility.
 
Students were able to work with a voltage meter to use a positive and a negative conductor to see if a piece of fruit would produce any electrical current. Several different types of batteries were also tested, and they learned that a AA battery has the same voltage as a D battery.
 
These students are continuing to work on this project, and will be experimenting with other fruits and vegetables next week.