Elementary STEM challenging young minds
STEM for Elementary at Pequea Valley has been an exciting experience so far. All classes participated in this year’s Hour of Code, but grades 1-4 participated extensively with code.org activities as well as the apps Run Marco and Kodable. Sixth-graders were busy creating inventions to solve everyday problems in their classrooms. One group of students created desks with solar iPad chargers to allow students all-day access without the need to recharge at a central location during the day, while another student group created a de-stress desk for those hard testing days. In fifth-grade, students used their understanding of kinetic energy transfer and simple machines to create Rube Goldberg inventions. These inventions, rather than being simple and direct ways to solve problems, involved many parts – from dominoes and marbles to tracks and pulleys – to accomplish simple tasks. Other classes participated in various projects such as testing materials to create an insulated cup, learning about how alligators live using LEGO WeDo Robotics kits and researching facts about them, and creating mini catapults and recording the data in graphs and tables. STEM class provides an amazing opportunity to take what students learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world problems and scenarios.