K-2 Students Have Fun with STEM
The students in kindergarten, first, and second grade have been working on STEM projects in their study of science this year. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Students are given a problem to solve in which they must use these four strands. The projects are highly motivating and engaging. The students learn the importance of trial and error along with perseverance. Students learn that they must work together to reach solutions.
The kindergarten STEM project was based on a story we were working with in our reading and writing workshops, The Gingerbread Man. We learned what would happen if a cookie got in the water, so the kindergarteners had to try to help the Gingerbread Man get across the "river" without getting wet. Some constructed bridges, some rafts, and there was even a catapult!
The second grade STEM project followed a study of the engineering process. Students learned about famous towers in Watts, California and how the builder had built them with no formal training. Students studied the process, practiced the steps, and finished their study building their own towers with a partner. The students had to make sure their towers were strong and stable, just like the towers in Watts. Every tower had to pass earthquake, wind, and strength testing to be considered strong and stable.