ECS STEM PROGRAM
Integrated Hands-On STEM Program
Here at ECS, we believe it is imperative that STEM education continues to emphasize 21st-century skills acquisition so that students gain proficiency in collaboration, inquiry, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Therefore, we have developed a STEM Education program that concentrates on the development of understanding through hands-on project-based learning that provides a solid foundation for careers in all the STEM fields. Through our partnership with Smart Learning Solutions, we have implemented an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with real-world, problem-based learning. Through problem/project-based learning situations, students weave together and communicate their understanding of STEM concepts.
SLS has had the privilege to design STEM Enrichment opportunities for students at ECS in the last few consecutive school years. This enrichment plays a critical role in preparing our students for the future and their roles in our economy. Through STEM enrichment, students develop 21st-century skills such as adaptability, communication, social skills, problem-solving, creativity, self-control, and scientific thinking.
To continue to emphasize these 21st-century skills acquisition, the ECS STEM program provides a STEM component to develop capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past. Through strategic partnerships, SLS provides a level of understanding through hands-on project-based learning that promotes a solid foundation for careers in all the STEM fields while developing skills such as strategic thinking and collaborative problem solving which are equal partners with traditional learning.
Below is just a glimpse of what students have experienced so far. We look forward to continuing and expanding this program next year and beyond!
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, & MATHEMATICS
Subjects: Mathematics and Science
Difficulty Modified by Grade
Overview: Students used tools to measure a fall link chain; Students answered questions in their STEM journal about problem solving and critical thinking methods.
Vocabulary: Data; Measure; and Collect
Objectives: Students were introduced to different physical concepts of
Outcomes: Students recognized how different quantities can be measured they were able to make measurements by comparison.
• Science as Inquiry – Students should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry o Plan and conduct a simple investigation
Use data to construct a reasonable explanation
Communicate investigations and explanations
Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry
Picture – STEM Thursdays: Measurements; Cloud Observations
Sun and Seasons
Picture – STEM Thursdays: Measurements
Subjects: Mathematics and Science
Difficulty Modified by Grade
Students participated in interactive activities as the “Earth” and “Sun”. Students had the opportunity to tilt and rotate around the sun to model day and night. Students created vocabulary cards and learned how NASA studies the Sun and the Earth.
Vocabulary: Seasons; Earth; Sun; Rotate; Tilt; Axis
STEM activity was introduced with the book “Tap the Magic Tree”. The book showed how one particular tree changed during the year from season to season. Students were asked to draw 4 trees (1 per season), add and color the necessary leaves according to what they observed in the book and through their own experiences.
Engineering Design and Process
Subjects: Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Difficulty Modified by Grade
1. Lesson included a discussion about engineering and explored the various types of engineers.
Students were able to explore NASA and how engineering is used: Robots; Spacecrafts; Satellites; and Instruments.
Activity: Students were tasked with designing and building a spacecraft that would study and observe Earth Science
2. Students were exposed to Architect Engineering and tasked to design and build the tallest Christmas Tree for the church’s annual Christmas Production.
Students used the Engineering and Design Process as their starting point. Through collaboration and critical thinking, the various groups were able to construct their trees.
Congratulations to the 2nd grade group (OAK Architecture Firm) for building the tallest structure (51 inches tall). The 3rd grade groups (Winners and T&T Architecture Firms) had structures 47 inches and 45 inches tall respectively. And a huge congratulations to the 1st grade group (Just Builders Architecture Firm) for building a structure 40 inches tall
DEILAB – Design Engineering In novation Lab Grades: K-5th DEILAB (pronounced day-lab) awakens creative problem-solving skills in people of all ages. We use “Toys as Tools to Teach” about Design, Engineering and Innovation concepts. For over a decade, DEILAB has delivered fun and engaging hands-on project based learning through summer camps, in-school and after school programming for students of all ages and professional development for adults.
DEILAB creates hands-on activities, innovation laboratories, design and robotics challenges, that translate these concepts into the procedure of design and engineering.
The innovation concepts of thinking without borders, taking risks, rapid prototyping and solution diversity are often part of the natural life cycle of people required to innovate in order to exist and achieve.
Our hope is to form new experiences and create significant differences in all students’ attitudes about STEM, lives and future opportunities
CODING WITH ROBOTS
Coding with Robots
The Coding with Robots program teaches computer science concepts to students through hands-on coding and robotics lessons. Students will learn how to use a programming language and cloud-based programming environment to program their robots. Through individual and team exercises, students will learn and apply problem-solving and computational thinking skills. The mixture of plugged and unplugged activities is designed to cater to a typical spectrum of learning styles - from visual, to active, and tactile. This component uses lessons and activities to help prepare students that have no prior experience with computer science and coding.
The program will use a robust educational robot as a resource designed to bring coding to life for students to deliver meaningful computational thinking, computer programming and 21st century education in an engaging, hands-on way.
Each robot includes sensors, motors, buttons, lights, and removable wheels, offering students an incredible range of ways to interact with the robots. The robot’s different sensors can detect different things including sound, visible light, and infrared light. The robot can be programmed to react to the different inputs it detects using any of the three progressive programming languages available.