STEAM Skills Beat the Trickiness of Leprechauns

Three student build a leprechaun trap. thumbnail113121

Leprechauns don’t stand a chance against the STEAM skills of kindergarten students. The young inventors used science, technology, engineering, artand math skills to create leprechaun traps. Hoping the leprechauns would lead them to a pot of gold, the traps used all the things the students thought would attract the mythical creatures in Irish folklore.

Teachers and students read books about leprechauns that taught them that these little bearded men love mischief, shiny objects and rainbows. They used this knowledge to build traps from cardboard boxes that contained glitter, slides and rainbow collages. Some even had beds inside to keep the leprechauns happy once caught.

Ann MacArthur Primary School teacher Candice Pellicane said the kindergarten classes have been learning about problem-solving with academic work and real-world situations. The students have learned to plan out the solution to their problem before designing it.

“This project not only prompted them to use the problem-solving skills they have learned in kindergarten, but also required them to use higher-order thinking,” Ms. Pellicane said. “It is amazing to watch the students really communicate with their peers and for us as educators to be able to see their thinking process.”

Ms. Pellicane said that the students faced challenges when building the traps that they had planned out on paper. This required them to figure out what was wrong with their plan and how to correct the problem.

Bayville Primary School teacher Kelsey Burns had her students build the leprechaun traps using the same method of planning it out on paper first. She said that the project was a wonderful way to incorporate the STEAM curriculum into a hands-on activity. Her class worked in groups of four to create each trap, and as they presented their finished products to the rest of the class, they shared the challenges and the successes they had while doing the actual building.

“My students learned to take a step back and evaluate their plans to see what they could do better,” Ms. Burns said. “In the end, they all felt their traps would catch the leprechauns!”