STEM Blog

Under the Sea

The Earth’s surface is two thirds water. We know more about the moon than we know about the bottom of our oceans. SLS students are learning about the ocean environment and working to solve practical problems faced by the marine workforce. The Aqua Knights team has built a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and spent most of the winter getting ready for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Regional competition to be held at Villanova University the second week of May.

The MATE ROV competition is about student learning. It is designed to be an event that challenges students to apply the physics, math, electronics, and engineering skills they are learning in the classroom to solving problems from the marine workplace. Take a quick look at this video of their journey. Best of luck Aqua Knights!

First Grade Prospectors

Rocks are a fundamental building block of the Earth. Some of these rocks are valuable due to beauty, rarity or industrial use. As part of a lesson on Earth Science, Mrs. Coyle and Mrs. Vicendese First Graders spent the morning learning all about the three fundamental types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic). They spent some time prospecting for simulated gems. Tim the Gem Guy provided the students with an opportunity to sift through sand to find hidden gems he provided. After each discovery, the students identified the type of gem and were given the opportunity to take their treasures home.

Designing for Hurricanes

Students in Ms. Fries’ Fourth Grade class have been busy learning all about a topic that is near and dear to her heart. Since Hurricane Maria hit Ms. Fries’ island of Puerto Rico last September, her students have learned about the science behind the hurricanes, firsthand stories of survivors and have helped and supported recovery efforts. This week the students participated in an engineering challenge where they designed and built houses that could withstand “hurricane” force winds with very successful results. Our future architects and engineers are ready to build rugged residences of the future!

Pre-K in Space

Our Pre-K students just completed a unit on space - and boy, did they have fun! Our future astronauts-in-training learned about the solar system, constellations, UFO's, and created their own space suits and simulated a launch in their very own space ship!

Learning to See Hidden Figures

The use of a microscope is a fundamental skill in science and medicine. It allows the user to view hidden structures and details that can not be seen by the naked eye. Mrs. Riggin's Fifth Grade students continue to learn fundamental techniques of preparing a wet slide, using appropriate magnification, and learning to accurately describe what they see. The subkect of the daw was Elodea, a marine plant often found in freshwater aquariums. 

 

 

Exploration and Discovery!

Our Pre-K future innovators learn about the world around them through a variety of experiments and activities that encourage curiosity and exploration. 

 

 

The Road to Detroit!

The outpouring of support for the Einstein Narwhals has been tremendous, even extending to the Maryland Legislature. This morning the team traveled to Annapolis to receive recognition from the Maryland House and Senate. The Maryland House passed the following resolution: “Be it hereby known to all that The House of Delegates of Maryland offers its sincerest congratulations to Saint Louis School Einstein Narwhals in recognition of winning First Place for Robot Strategy and Innovation at the Maryland State Championship and advancement to FIRST World Championship. The entire membership extends best wishes on this memorable occasion and directs this resolution to be presented on this 3rd day of April, 2018.” We would like to thank Mrs. Margaret Teahan for arranging the visit and the Howard County delegates for their support and encouragement. To follow the Narwhal’s journey visit the team website at: https://sites.google.com/view/einstein-narwhals/home #AOBCatholicSchools #RiseAbove

Narwhal Website!

The St. Louis School FLL Robotics team the Einstein Narwhals have created a website to share their journey. Take a look by visiting the link below:

https://sites.google.com/view/einstein-narwhals/home

St. Louis FLL Team Headed to World Competition!

The Einstein Narwhals have just been notified that they will be participating in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Championship, to be held in Detroit at the end of April.

 

The Narwhals are the first Archdiocesan  K - 8 FLL team to qualify to compete at this level. More than 40 countries are sending teams to the competition in Detroit. We are so proud of this team and are grateful to coaches Anne Reed and Jeen Sleeman for their leadership and perseverance to make this opportunity possible.

 

Some Narwhal Facts:

 

  • The Einstein Narwhal team has eight students in 5th-8th grade and two adult coaches
  • The Einstein Narwhals are a 2nd year FLL  team
  • FIRST Lego League (FLL) has been growing since its inception in 1999
  • Approximately 33,000 teams from 90 countries competed in FLL this season.
  • The top 216 teams have earned an invitation to compete at the FLL World Championship tournament at the FIRST World Festival, split between 2 venues (Houston & Detroit) in April
  • The Einstein Narwhals are 1 of 3 teams who will represent Maryland at the FLL World Championships in Detroit, MI, April 25-28, 2018
  • The FIRST Championship includes tournaments from all 4 of the FIRST robotics programs: FLL Jr, FLL, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition.  The event will gather:
    • 30,000 Youth
    • 60,000 Attendees
    • 1,400 Teams
    • 80+ Countries
    • 2,400 Volunteers
  • The Einstein Narwhals are the 1st ArchBalt school FLL team to qualify for the FIRST World Championships


Stay tuned as we prepare for the competition in Detroit! #AOBCatholicSchools #RiseAbove #SLSSTEM

Time for a Swim?

Cold temperatures, brisk wind and even snow flurries did not stop the Aqua Knights from testing their robot today in an outdoor pool. They are preparing for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition, scheduled to take place at Villanova University in May. For the second year in a row, the team has been busy building an underwater robot, installing a camera, testing its “drivability” and designing a 3D-printed motor cover. Today, the team members gathered by the pool to put the robot to the test. The newly 3D-printed motor cover fit perfectly but the team members determined that it needs some minor modifications to allow more water flow and thus more motive power for the robot. They tested out some of the missions and adjusted the buoyancy of the robot to allow it to complete them successfully. There is still a lot of work to be done but the team members and coaches are excited and will be ready for the competition. Stay tuned for updates on their progress. #SLSSTEM #RiseAbove #AOBCatholicSchools To learn more about the MATE competition, visit https://www.marinetech.org/rov-competition-2/

If I Built a House!

“Jack, in the backyard, said to his mother, this house is OK but it’s like any other. It’s boxy and boring and basically bland. It’s nothing at all like the house I have planned.”

Inspired by the Chris Van Dusen If I Built a House story, where Jack dreams up his perfect home, SLS Second Grade inventors had an opportunity to design their own homes. Mrs. Annacker, Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Ellerbrock collaborated on this STEM lesson where students read the story, then designed and built models of their homes using a variety of different materials, including index cards, fabric, playing cards, pipe cleaners and more. Take a look at their creative designs and the smiling faces - it was an engaging, collaborative, fun-filled Friday afternoon!

 

3.14159

Today is Pi Day. Notice the spelling...this is not the kind of pie you eat, but the kind of Pi you think about. Mrs. Briskey’s 7th and 8th grade Math students thought about Pi a lot today during a Breakout challenge. Breakout is a time-limited series of questions, puzzles, and brain teasers that ultimately result in a solution that allows you to open locks and break out. In case you missed it, the value of Pi begins 3.14 and today’s date is March 14th. Enjoy the rest of your Pi Day and hope you get to celebrate with some pie!

A big thank you to Patti Harju, Director of Games BreakoutEDU for helping us set the locks over FaceTime! Breakout EDU

 

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