My awesome second graders come from a very low socioeconomic background, with the majority falling below the poverty line. They are mainly English language learners (72%) and many of them live in homes which house multiple families under the same roof. The median income is well below poverty level, with some being homeless. Some of these seven and eight-year-olds have the sole responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings while their parents are working, with many parents working more than one job. Others are latchkey children.
Our school is Title I and 80% of the children receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch.
In addition to the many challenges that these hard-working students face, they also are coping with the fact that our school is situated in a high crime area with frequent gang activity. My children have extremely limited access to technology in their homes, yet with all these obstacles, my students come to school with much enthusiasm and an eager desire to learn.
As you are aware, the next generation science standards call for “educators to design a classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship. Science and Engineering Practices describe what scientists do to investigate the natural world and what engineers do to design and build systems (STEM). The NGSS requires students to engage in practices to build, deepen, and apply their knowledge of core ideas and crosscutting concepts.” This is why I strongly feel that by having the Lego Early Simple Machines Set which contains gears, levers, pulleys, wheels and axles will allow my students to build, explore and create simple machines that can solve real world problems.
I am very passionate about bringing STEM to my 2nd graders on a weekly basis.
STEM education promotes the four C’s; critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Help us bring STEM to our most needed students!
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