Novel STEM program gets elementary students coding
Central Bucks School District’s QUEST (Questioning and Understanding through Engineering, Science and Technology) program launched in 2015 as a student-centered curriculum that asks students to use design thinking to solve real-life, engineering challenges. Elementary students meet once each week in this special class to work through challenges that give them opportunities to develop the four Cs: collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. QUEST program now reaches students in all elementary schools. “We set out to develop a transdisciplinary class, one that allowed students to apply content knowledge and skills from various subjects,” recalled Laura E’Nama, CB’s curriculum supervisor for science. “We also wanted the class to support our district initiatives around developing students’ growth mindsets and 21st century skills.” Through the program, students are demonstrating greater perseverance, grit and resiliency, and have become better able to work collaboratively, particularly in the primary grades. And, because of QUEST, students are more adept at problem problem-solving.