A second-grade class at Bayville Primary School recently worked to complete challenges using the STEM skills they learned throughout the year. Each challenge involved various aspects of each STEM subject – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Working collaboratively in pairs, the students in Dani Schatz’s class used trial and error, failing at times and discovering that their mistakes were helping to lead them to success. How to drop an egg without it breaking, making a working roller coaster, building a fast-traveling bus and developing a structure that could float were among the many projects the class completed and then presented at their STEM Fair held in the school’s multipurpose room.
Ms. Schatz said the students worked on smaller challenges throughout the year, building up their skills and then bringing everything they learned together for a bigger project that they worked on for a longer period of time. For the STEM fair, the young scientists created posterboards describing their projects, which incorporated other parts of the curriculum such as vocabulary, writing, art and public speaking, that the children presented to the parents and students who visited each booth.
“The goal of this aspect of the project was for students to learn how to present information clearly and concisely, as well as summarize their experience,” Ms. Schatz said. “Students also had to take into account the audience they were presenting to. They knew that they would present information differently to their parents than they would to a kindergartner.”
Bayville Elementary Schools Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said the STEM fair brought many aspects of the second-grade curriculum together beautifully. “The students honed their skills in many areas, learning that the subjects we teach them all interconnect.”