Starting this 21-22 school year, elementary schools in Taylor County were excited to have their first STEAM dedicated teacher. That position is held by Megan Howdyshell. Mrs. Howdyshell travels to all three elementary schools (WTES, AJES, and FES) and provides STEAM lessons to the classrooms each week. STEAM Education is an approach to teaching and learning that combines science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem-solving. Here are just a few of the exciting things the students have had the opportunity to experience:
- 4th Graders read a story in their Wonders textbook about Earthquakes and natural disasters. They built 1-2 story structures that had to be a certain minimum height. The desk was shaken for 20 seconds and "patted" near the base of the structure for an additional 10 seconds (30 seconds total) to see if it could withstand the simulated earthquake.
- 4th graders at AJ built playground models. They had to work as a construction team to design and build their playgrounds and calculate the cost of their materials. A guest will come to place their "bid" on a playground for each class. AJ is planning to get a new playground in the future and the fourth graders are the experts on what the new playground should have.
- 4th graders made symmetrical snowflakes and a parachute. For the parachute they decided what variables could be changed to hit the target with more precision.
- 4th graders worked on using pattern blocks to build winter themed objects.
- 3rd graders worked on unplugged hopscotch coding.
- 3rd and 4th graders built catapults to see who could launch a pom pom (or candy pumpkin/fall candy) farthest.
- 3rd graders made their names on grid paper then calculated the area of their name. They were challenged (if there was time) to calculate the perimeter too.
- 2nd graders used dough and toothpick to create 2D and 3D shapes. Then they calculated the number of edges and vertices.
- 2nd graders built their own snowpeople and measured them in various ways (inches vs. centimeters vs. non-standard measurement)
- 2nd graders used place value blocks to create their name. Then they counted the total number used in various formats (standard form, place value form, etc).
- 1st graders built burrows for their ground hogs as a team during February.\
Through these STEAM activities, students are empowered to be curious learners who seek creative solutions to questions they can’t just search for online, leading students to develop the soft and hard skills necessary to succeed in college and in their careers.