STEM Blog

Native American STEM

On Friday, the Second Graders participated in an integrated Social Studies and Science lesson focused on the Wampanoag native American tribe. The activity was based on the Wampanoag children and how they had to use materials around them to make games and toys. The students were given ten cups, four bendy straws, four pieces of yarn, and one rubber band to build a pyramid of cups without using their hands. The students were allowed a short period of time to strategize and then quickly jumped into the challenge.

It was impressive to see the various creative solutions that resulted from their collaboration! #everyspaceisamakerspace #RiseAbove#trublue

Cell Diffusion Exploration

On Friday in Science Lab, the 7th grade explored the concept of how cells maintain homeostasis by allowing materials in and out of the cell through the process of diffusion. In this lab the students used a suspension of cornstarch and water to represent a cell, plastic wrap to represent the cell membrane, and various concentrations of iodine solutions to represent the raw materials a cell needs to perform life processes. The variables tested were the various concentrations of the iodine and various temperatures of the cornstarch suspensions. The students hypothesized about how these variable would affect the rate of diffusion into or out of their cells.

Saving Turkeys a Week Before Thanksgiving!

SLS Middle School students used logic, communication and collaboration to solve a series of challenging digital puzzles and successfully completed a Breakout challenge. St. Louis School is introducing the BreakoutEDU platform to help improve our student’s critical, observational, non-linear and problem-solving skills. The Thanksgiving-themed lesson challenged students to unlock a series of puzzles and ultimately free a virtual turkey. To learn more about the educational benefits of BreakoutEDU visit: https://www.breakoutedu.com

Maryland STEM Festival

Thanks to all who visited for our Maryland STEM Festival Create & Code event. From the youngest engineers building skyscrapers with Legos, to making electrical circuits and playing around with augmented reality - it was a great afternoon of fun and learning for all! Below are the green screen pictures available for download. 

Twenty One Elephants

Our students in Mrs. Birman’s third grade class had a blast today when presented with a cross-curricular STEM/reading project. They read a story called “Twenty One Elephants” as a part of a unit on bridges that they are working on in Reading. The story is about Barnum's circus elephants, and how the circus had the elephants cross the Brooklyn Bridge in 1884 to prove that the bridge was safe. Students were tasked with designing a bridge using classroom materials such as cups, popsicle sticks, straws, clay, rubber bands, etc. The design had to be able to hold twenty one "elephants," which they modeled with math counting cubes. The students worked together in teams and all made a successful bridge that could withstand the weight of the cubes. They did an amazing job! #STEMatSLS#3rdgraderocks

Cyber STEM Fun!

Today we kicked off the fall Cyber STEM session today with a collaborative balloon tower challenge where teams of students from a variety of grades worked together to create the tallest free-standing balloon structure in a limited amount of time. It was an opportunity for Cyber STEM students to meet each other, use their communication skills to plan a tower design and execute their plan. The sound of popping balloons was an added bonus!

We concluded the afternoon with an introduction to the Python programming language, beginning with the Python’s turtle drawing feature to create shapes of different colors. #STEMatSLS

“On your mark, get set, flow!”

Our First LEGO League (FLL) coaches kicked off the 2017 season by attending the annual Maryland FLL Kick Off at UMBC this past Saturday. We are particularly proud of Coach Anne Reed, who was invited to lead a session and share her knowledge and expertise with other coaches.

 

SLS is sponsoring three teams this year and we look forward to seeing their work in the area of hydrodynamics, this year’s current challenge. “What might become possible when we understand what happens to our water?”

 

To learn more about FLL, please visit www.firstinspires.org

 

The Early Bird Gets the STEM

Three St. Louis teachers, Ms. Frederick, Mrs. Riggin and Mrs. Whiteford, woke up before the crack of dawn to attend a day of STEM professional development at the United States Naval Academy. The theme for the day was Engineering Design and it included lessons on hydraulics, electrical circuits and fundamental mechanical machines. The program culminated with an engineering challenge to design and build a missile replacement mechanism for the NAVY. To learn more about the USNA STEM program visit: https://www.usna.edu/STEM/index.php

Peat Moss and Air Cannon Vortexes?

Did you know that peat moss reproduces using an air vortex cannon? Teachers at St. Louis School had the opportunity to learn about this and more during today's NPR's Science Friday professional development event. Watch the video about this phenomenon by visiting: https://www.sciencefriday.com/…/the-secretly-speedy-life-o…/

 

 

Learn to Code with Scratch

Scratch is a programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab and funded by several organizations including but not limited to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Microsoft, Intel Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, Iomega and MIT Media Lab research consortia. Scratch allows you to crate your own animated games, art and stories.

 

To learn more about Scratch, access the site and create an account visit:

https://scratch.mit.edu/

 

Below you will find a list of resources and tutorials that you may find helpful:

https://scratch.mit.edu/help/

 

Scratch reference cards: https://scratch.mit.edu/info/cards/

Scratch video tutorials: https://scratch.mit.edu/help/videos/

Scratch starter projects: https://scratch.mit.edu/starter_projects/

 

Scratch Lesson Plans:

http://wiki.classroom20.com/Scratch+Lesson+Plans

https://www.scribd.com/document/8028928/Scratch-Lessons

http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/guide/

http://technologypainting.com/

 

Additional Coding Resources:

 

Code Websites
Hour of Code https://code.org/
 
Code Apps
Scratch Jr.
Hopscotch
Kodable
Daizy the Dinosaur
Move the Turtle
Run Marco
Cargo-Bot
 

Future Surgeons?

Dissection is a right of passage for middle school students at St. Louis School. Today in Science Class, Mrs. Yuska's Seventh Grade students had the opportunity to dissect a frog and learn about amphibian anatomy.

AquaKnights win Third Place!

Congratulation to the SLS AquaKnights, our aquatic engineers, who won third place for their robot execution under water at the Villanova University MATE competition today. This was the AquaKnights first year of competition and they are already looking forward to next year. A huge thank you to Mr. Chuck Kerechanin, Mrs. Angela Fatula and Mrs. Marie Gatti for their dedication and inspirational work with these students. Way to Go AquaKnights! with MATE ROV Competition

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