After-school students learn about “STEM”

Published 10:27 am Friday, April 13, 2012

Fourth graders at West Bainbridge Elementary School, during the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) after-school tutorial, are utilizing and incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching and learning components. STEM is where students must work as:

• Problem-solvers — able to define questions and problems, design investigations to gather data, collect and organize data, draw conclusions, and then apply understandings to new and novel situations.

• Innovators — creatively use science, mathematics, and technology concepts and principles by applying them to the engineering design process.

• Inventors — recognize the needs of the world and creatively design, test, redesign, and then implement solutions (engineering process).

• Self-reliant — able to use initiative and self-motivation to set agendas, develop and gain self-confidence, and work within time specified time frames.

• Logical thinkers — able to apply rational and logical thought processes of science, mathematics, and engineering design to innovation and invention.

• Technologically literate — understand and explain the nature of technology, develop the skills needed, and apply technology appropriately.

Fourth graders were given a project to complete as a team. They were two groups, each with a non-profit organization associated with that group — Relay for Life and The Humane Society. Students had to select members of their groups and choose a team captain for both groups.

Each group had to do research on the organization the group selected. Each group had to compose a spreadsheet/budget on how they would spend a certain amount of money donated to that organization. Students also had to create a flier and present a PowerPoint presentation or video presentation of the organization their group chose.

Students had to be able to work collaboratively within their groups to obtain the objective of the project. Ortega Ross and Christy Ward are the teachers of fourth graders during after-school tutorial.