Our after school S.T.E.A.M. Club is bursting at the seams! Twenty-five students signed up last year, but many more were interested in learning about circuitry, robotics, and coding. They come to each meeting with excitement and anticipate the next one. This year the S.T.E.A.M. Club will have no limit!
In piloting the after-school program last year, I limited the number of participants to 25 junior high students.
I had such an overwhelming response that I WILL NOT place a limit on the number of students who want to attend S.T.E.A.M. Club meetings this year! There are approximately 200 junior high students in our school.
I am also extending this opportunity to younger students through a new club called S.T.E.A.M. Junior. S.T.E.A.M. Junior will equip students in grades 4-6 with opportunities to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math concepts after school. The total number of students in these grades is estimated at 150.
Our students are eager to discover, inquire, and explore!
Students will extend their learning through making. Often, ideas start on paper. Sketching, taking notes, and diagramming in 2-D will get your ideas out of your head, but you are still imagining what the object will look like. With a 3-D printer, S.T.E.A.M. Club attendees can see their ideas come to life. Take the concept of a cube, for example. Students may be able to understand that a cube has form, volume, and mass by looking at it on a piece of paper. But, the learning becomes more concrete in the 3-D realm. They can take those cubes and hold them, view them from all sides, and feel their weight. Now, imagine what a student would learn from modeling their ideas in a 3-D program and watching that object print in the real world. You have now broken down the barrier between "just an idea" and "the real thing."
This project will make a huge difference in the lives of my students because they do not have access to this type of technology.
The nearest science center is 60 miles away. After school programs are scarce in our area. My students need tools to make their ideas reality. They need to understand how technology applies to future careers. They need to value the impact of their creativity and apply it to designing, prototyping, and making real objects. My students are the future.
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