Posted: February 7, 2018
In October, ASD-N rolled out a district wide STEM Bin initiative that saw all K-1 classrooms in ASD-N receive multiple bins of manipulatives used to inspire our youngest students to become problem solvers and engineers. Since that time our teachers have kept the STEM Bin momentum alive by participating in monthly challenges with their classes.
Over 20 kindergarten and grade one classes have participated in each of these challenges by reading, writing, and building. The challenges have included:
- A November catapult challenge where students designed, built and launched projectiles at targets to test their creations for distance and accuracy.
- For our December, Christmas themed, STEM challenge students were tasked with making their own Christmas tree. We saw 2D trees and 3D trees; trees made from popsicle sticks and gum drops; trees that were taller than students and trees that came crashing to the ground.
- The January challenge harnessed our students snowman/snowwoman making skills and showed their incredible creativity and artistic ability. They designed and 3D printed snowmen/women; they used Lego to recreate snowmen/women; they attached Makey Makeys to make their playdough snowmen/women talk; they created incredible pieces of snowman/woman art; and students wrote, collaborated, cooperated, and presented their snowmen/women to their peers to meet literacy outcomes.
In his book, “Lifelong Kindergarten”, MIT Professor Mitchel Resnick advocates that by “providing young people with opportunities to work on projects, based on their passions, in collaboration with peers, in a playful spirit, we can help them prepare for a world where creative thinking is more important than ever before.” Based on what we have seen and heard coming from the K-1 classes in ASD-N these young, creative minds will be well positioned for the future.