STEM Blog

How Many Puzzles Can You Solve?

Posted May 24, 2022

Pentominoes are two-dimensional shapes made from five square blocks that are joined edge-to-edge to form various designs. There are twelve possible shapes in a set of unique pentominoes. Fourth Grade students in Mrs. Ellerbrock’s Library class use pentominoes to solve STEM Math puzzles and to develop their critical thinking skills during small group work. How many puzzles can you solve? #stematsls




Codes and secret writing

Posted May 18, 2022
Codes and secret writing date back thousands of years. People have always tried to hide their messages from prying eyes. What makes a good code? How would you use one? How have they been used in the past?
St. Louis School is fortunate to have Mr. Mike Blasi, former SLS parent, STEM resource, and National Cryptologic Museum staff member as part of our continuing STEM Speaker Series. He spent the afternoon with the Class of 2022, explaining a variety of cryptographic methods and providing the students with challenges to solve. He spoke about Caesar and pigpen ciphers, frequency analysis, as well as the history of the Enigma machine and how it works. As an added bonus, the students had the opportunity to experience typing on an actual Enigma machine on loan from the National Cryptologic Museum. We want to thank Mr. Blasi and his daughter Laura, SLS alumn, for sharing their time and talent with our students. #STEMatSLS

 

, , , , ,



Coding Instruction at SLS

Posted May 15, 2022

 

Coding Instruction at St. Louis School

 

Grades K, 1, and 2  

In Grades K-2 students learn how to create basic algorithms to solve problems using drag and drop coding programs and robots. Students complete cross-curricular collaborative STEM lessons using their coding skills in social studies (maps), math (measurement, time, and money), and language arts (story retelling and sequencing).

 

Tools:

 

 

Grade 3

By Grade 3 and beyond, students learn that our interconnected technological world is built on computer software. How do things work? Everything needs software/code to make things happen. Students begin gaining a basic understanding of the underlying software that drives our modern world. 

 

  • Code.org (Course 2 - Lessons 1 - 10)

    • Introduction to the three basic programming structures - sequence, selection, loops and how these come together to form the most basic instructions and algorithms for all types of software.

    • Introduction to algorithms and syntax

    • Debugging

  • Ozobot - Color coding robots

  • Introduction to Scratch drag and drop block programming - Scratch is a free web-based drag and drop programming language developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

  • Dash robot programming using Blockly App (drag and drop language)

    • Winter Olympics project

 

Grade 4

  • Code.org (Course 2 - Lessons 3 - 13)

    • Review of the three basic programming structures - sequence, selection, and loops and how these come together to form the most basic instructions and algorithms for all types of software.

    • Review of algorithms and syntax

    • Debugging

    • Conditionals

  • Programming with the Scratch drag and drop block programming

  • Dash Robot programming using Blockly App (drag and drop language)

    • Iditarod Sled Dog Race project (Design and build sleds following the engineering design process then code the robots to pull the sleds and race)

 

Grade 5

  • Code.org (Course 3 - Lessons 2 - 14)

    • Review of the three basic programming structures - sequence, selection, and loops and how these come together to form the most basic instructions and algorithms for all types of software.

    • Review of algorithms and syntax

    • Functions

    • Debugging

    • Conditionals

    • Nested Loops

  • Programming with the Scratch drag and drop block programming

  • Dash Robot programming using Blockly App (drag and drop language)

 

Grade 6, 7 and 8

  • Code.org (Express Course 2021 - Lessons 2 - 12)

    • Review of the three basic programming structures - sequence, selection, and loops and how these come together to form the most basic instructions and algorithms for all types of software.

    • Review of algorithms and syntax

    • Functions

    • Debugging

    • Conditionals

    • Nested Loops

    • Prediction

    • Creating Art with Code

  • Programming with the Scratch drag and drop block programming

  • Dash Robot programming using Blockly App (drag and drop language)

  • Introduction to CUE Robot programming - Transition from block programming to text-based programming. The CUE robots are new and were purchased through a grant from AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association). 


 

Example of students' Scratch projects:

 

Grade 3 basic student project work.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/612566578

 

Grade 5 - Retro Asteroid “like” game

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/642257927

 

Grade 8 - Retro Pong Game

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/688248733

 

Our Cyber STEM after-school program (Grades 4 - 8) includes an introduction to the Python programming language. 

 



Monopoly anyone?

Posted May 6, 2022

Over the course of a game of Monopoly, how likely is it that you would land on Boardwalk or Park Place? As part of our ongoing STEM Speaker Series today SLS Sixth Grade students had the opportunity to learn how to compute the answer to that and similar questions from Mr. Mike Blasi, former SLS parent, and STEM resource.  SLS students learned about real-world applications of probability and random processes. They learned how to form a hypothesis and test it using the scientific method. To make these concepts more relatable, Mr. Blasi discussed how dice and coin flips can affect outcomes in games like Monopoly, Risk, and Yahtzee. We want to thank Mr. Blasi for taking time out of his day and coming to SLS to provide a better understanding of probability, statistics and why they will almost assuredly not win the lottery.

, , , ,



AFCEA STEM Kickstarter Awards Banquet

Posted May 6, 2022
A portion of the St Louis School STEM budget comes from grants. We use these grants to purchase equipment and software that provides our students with hands-on learning opportunities.
Tonight we celebrated our third STEM Kickstarter grant award at the AFCEA Annual Awards Night held at the Turf Valley Resort. SLS Third Grade STEM Ambassadors demonstrated the capabilities of Wonder Workshop Dash robots we purchased with grant proceeds to a large and inquisitive audience during the first hour of the event. They explained the Blockly programming app and answered questions like: How do you make the robot spin in a circle? How many colors can you program the lights in? Can you make your robot turn in a certain direction 90 degrees?” Our Ambassadors did a remarkable job representing our school and we are very proud of them.
The evening included a delicious meal where the award recipients were recognized, followed by an engaging keynote address by Laura Nelson, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation.
St. Louis School would like to thank AFCEA Central Maryland (CMD) for their continued support of our teachers, students, and our STEM program.#STEMatSLS Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools

 

, , , , ,



Dash Winter Olympics

Posted March 17, 2022
While the official 2022 Winter Olympics took place in Beijing, here at home our St. Louis School Third Graders held their own competitive sporting event. In a collaborative effort between Math, ELA, Library, and Computer class, the students learned about the Olympics and researched their assigned sport and country. Students were then split into groups and programmed Dash Wonder Workshop robots to perform the appropriate actions for each sport and then measured the resulting time and speed.
The purchase of these Dash robots was made possible by a grant from AFCEA Central Maryland (CMD). We are grateful for their continued support of our STEM program.
The St. Louis Olympics included an Opening Ceremony and the events were cheered on by spectators of all ages. Every team successfully completed their programming sports challenge and demonstrated terrific sportsmanship. Check out this video to learn more. #STEMatSLS #Archbaltschools
 

 




Transport Troopers

Posted March 17, 2022

The third St. Louis School FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team will be competing today at the Southern Regional Technology Complex (Fort Washington, MD) state qualifier. The SLS community wishes the Transport Troopers the best in today’s event. A huge thank you to the parent coaches and volunteers for their support of the team. Go, Knights, we are very proud of you! #STEMatSLS FIRST in Maryland




Feudalism STEM Project

Posted March 17, 2022
Last week the seventh grade completed a project to help them further understand their lessons on the Middle Ages in Europe and feudalism. One group of students created a medieval castle that would represent the very top of the feudal hierarchy (Kings and Queens). The other was to design a crest that represented a family. This symbol would be the family crest/distinguishing feature for generations and generations. This project combined STEM elements of building the castle, and European history to depict the accuracy of the Middle Ages.

 

, ,



The Final Frontier!

Posted February 17, 2022
The Final Frontier came to Pre-K this morning when astronaut Audrey Powers visited each of our Pre-K classrooms and received a guided tour of LEGO space stations designed and constructed by our junior engineers. She asked lots of questions and got lots of great answers. Later in the day, Ms. Powers engaged students in other classrooms and had a working lunch with our Science teachers. Ms. Powers took time to collaborate with a group of Middle School students, performing data analysis as part of a lesson provided by Club for the Future. Club for the Future is a nonprofit founded by Blue Origin to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM and help visualize the future of life in space. Visit clubforfuture.org to learn more.
Ms. Powers flew into space on a Blue Origin rocket called New Shepard in October 2021. She grew up in Columbia and is a graduate of St. Louis School.
We want to thank her for sharing her success story with our students. Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools #STEMatSLS #BeAKnight

 

, , , ,



Audrey Powers' Visit

Posted February 17, 2022
, , , ,



Hearts and Minds!

Posted February 15, 2022

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and at St Louis School we love STEM! As part of our continued commitment to STEM education, we held a school-wide activity yesterday to engage our students in critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication. You can get a sense of how the day progressed in the photographs below. Students and faculty had a fun-filled, inquiry-based educational experience and we look forward to many more. #STEMatSLS #BeaKnight #RiseAbove

, ,



It's Roller Coaster Time!

Posted February 10, 2022
"Everything I ever learned in math I used in constructing our roller coaster!"
The 6th grade math class performed a STEM activity while learning more about slopes. Students were timed to create a roller coaster with a set of given materials and competed to see which marbles traveled the fastest and longest length. In small groups, students planned, constructed, and modified their coasters as they saw problems with their construction.
It was an amazing activity to see the students using the STEM process and collaborating.
The activity resonated with the students! A few commented: "This was the best STEM project ever!"

 

, , , , , ,



Pages