Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Thrive at Lower School STEAM Day

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math are immersed throughout daily life at Indian Creek School, but on Friday, February 23, the Lower School held a STEAM Day to celebrate these fields with a fun (messy) day of hands-on learning.

Early Childhood students rotated through four stations throughout the day, as they learned explored the theme of “Space” though a variety of activities. In the Technology station, students explored the depth of space by using coding tools and robotics to solve challenges and learn all about what’s out there in our universe. Next, students paused to wonder what it would be like to be an astronaut living in outer space? In station two, the children had the opportunity to explore life as an astronaut through an artistic lens. They created drawings that defy gravity, participated in dramatic experiences that simulated walking in space, and create ‘out-of-this-world’ stories together! Next, students embarked on a virtual tour of the ISS, the largest man-made object in space, and learned how it compares in size to other man-made objects here on earth. Embedding math and engineering, students next helped to construct their very own Space Station while exploring and playing mission control. Finally, the students became astronomers as they explored, identified and created constellations through scientific inquiry.

First through third grade students embarked upon a Winter Olympic adventure through their STEAM day fun. The first station, “Curling, Coding, and Friction, Oh my!,” students learn about the sport of curling while developing their coding skills at the same time. Students used bluebots to simulate the game of curling, by pushing a curling “stone” towards the “house” to see how they close they can get their stone to the “button”. Students had to use measurement and division to determine the distance the bluebots needed to get programmed to travel. Students then wrote the code needed to simulate the game of curling. After each turn, students evaluated their code and fixed any bugs in their code. The next station, “Track and Field” introduced students to the Olympic sport of Track and Field and highlighted famous African American Athletes. Students had fun demonstrating their ability with two track events (sprints and team relays) and a field event (javelin.) As they had fun competing, students also analyzed data collected from each event and charted their progress. They were then tasked with making adjustments to their body mechanics for each event, techniques, and strengths/weaknesses. At the Speed Skating station, students conducted experiments to investigate some of the physics involved in speed skating. Speed skaters are excellent at finding their center of gravity to maintain balance and speed around the curves. The children were challenged to create speed skaters and make discoveries about center of gravity. Finally, at the Bobsledding station, students learned about the Olympic sport of bobsledding, and about our Women’s USA Bobsled Team. In groups, students built bobsleds to hold four ‘people’ (gummy bears) and designed a track for the bobsled to travel, following building code regulations. After building code approval, students analyzed data from tests of two objects to compared the strengths and weaknesses of how each performed. Students were then able to make adjustments to their bobsled in order to improve the test results for fastest time on track.

Next, the children learned about the first African-American female pilot Bessie Coleman's perseverance and persistence to become a pilot in a time when African-Americans were not allowed to learn to fly in the United States. After learning about Ms. Coleman, the students used Scratch Jr. to simulate one of her famously daring maneuvers. The students then had the opportunity to learn about Madame C.J. Walker, entrepreneur and daughter of slaves, who became the first African American woman to become a millionaire. After viewing a video about Madame Walker, who became wealthy selling beauty products, students received the recipe and instructions for making a sugar scrub/lip balm from coconut oil and brown and white sugar. Students used their math skills to estimate, measure and problem-solve to mix and create the balm, which were gifted to the students’ special visitors on Grandfriends Day.

Fourth Grade worked together on STEAM day to build and stocking two Little Free Libraries to be distributed around our community. The children planned, designed, built and painted two Little Free Library kits, and then filled them with their favorite books. Students will next vote on where to place them in the community.

Fifth grade students watched a documentary video on tiny houses and then plan out their own tiny house to scale on paper. Next, they combine their plans in small groups to make one house with all the requirements. Once their plans were finalized, the groups of students mapped out life-sized blueprints on the ground with tape. They will also made their own documentary where they will discussed their experience.
Sixth grade students enjoyed a variety of stations as well. At the first station, students traced, cut, measured, glued and decorated a mini piñata ornament. This activity engaged students in discussions about the Mexican culture and gave them an opportunity to immerse themselves in the arts as they learned about Cinco de Mayo and explored their creativity. The next station, Pencil Pouch Buisness” invited the students to work through a business plan to identify which type of product to use that is cost effective in manufacturing pencil pouches. Students created their own business names and made their product. Finally, students worked in cooperative groups, competing against their peers to use twenty pieces of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow to construct the tallest structure possible.

Lower School STEAM Day provided a wide variety of valuable hands-on lessons in science, technology, engineering, and math – and was a whole lot of fun! Click here to view a full gallery of Lower School STEAM Day photos.
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