PCES is embracing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives in our school. We have incorporated STEM in many different areas.
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. Courses need to be taught by engaged and enthusiastic teachers using hands-on and minds-on activities. Making science and math courses fun and interesting will not only help students to learn, but might also plant the “seed of interest” that could grow into an exciting and rewarding STEM career.
STEM & Robotics Club - Amanda White and Caroline Mrizek are sponsoring the STEM & Robotics club this year. 4th and 5th grade students participate in monthly meetings in which we solve STEM challenges and create/program Lego WeDo robots. Using creativity to solve problems while using everyday objects and programmable robots is what we are all about!
Flip Boom Animation Software – Students use the Flip Boom software and Wacom Intuos graphic tablets to create animations. This software is used at various elementary and middle schools across the county. As students move into high school they will use Toon Boom Studio which is an animation industry standard. At the elementary level students create animations to show what they have learned about a science, mathematical or other topic which requires a deeper understanding of the concepts. It’s also really fun!
Fun time creation by a 5th grader using Flip Boom – Watch as his character gains a friend and goes on an adventure!
Coding in grades 1 – 5 – All students in 1st – 5th grades will experience coding at various levels. We use a a variety of websites such as www.code.org, www.tynker.com, www.kodable.com, and www.scratch.mit.edu. Coding teaches students more than programming; it’s a way of thinking in a logical manner while breaking down problems into smaller parts.
CIA Days with STEM – The purpose of 5th grade Science, Technology, Engineering and, Math (STEM) is to expose all students at an early age to a variety of career opportunities that may be pursued in their continued studies. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—STEM, and therefore, STEM education—are vital to our future and the future of our children. Besides, STEM is everywhere; it shapes our everyday experiences. We just have to show the students the connections.