News from After-School: STEAM Program
Jan Brooks and Ivana Powers were trained to lead a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program entitled "Bugs in Your Schoolyard." Students explore habitats and discover arthropods living there, then photograph the bugs and submit them to iNaturalist. Student scientists join with citizen scientists all over the world to catalogue and identify bugs.
On the most recent early dismissal afternoon, students in the intermediate group found themselves divided into "family" teams for a STEAM pioneer journey west to stake out a claim. STEAM challenges were based on the story of a family with a 13 year old boy and 9 year old girl traveling with their parents in a covered wagon to "Indian Country."
Challenges include creating a workable water filter to purify murky creek water, building a model cabin (with an area of 36 sq.in. and one window and door) which could withstand a windstorm of 30 seconds (wind from a hairdryer!), creating a watchtower to scout out invaders (which had to be 12 inches tall and sturdy enough to support the weight of an apple), harnessing solar power to heat water for bath night, and designing a rock mover (which must use some sort of pulley system) so the family can dig a well. "Families" were given points for how well their prototypes worked but also for how well they documented their project and how well they worked together as a team.
The junior high after school students partnered with interested second and third grade students during October to create the Cultural Exchange Cookbook. Students read various books together which focused on foods from differing cultures. The junior high students then prepared the food for a taste testing party for all of the elementary after-school kids. Students voted on which foods they liked the best. Second and third graders, along with their junior high friends, created artwork for the final cultural exchange cookbook.