STEM Blog

Getting our STEM On!

The most effective learning never takes place in isolation. Students learn and retain more when multiple subject areas work together to present a subject. SLS teachers are committed to continuously improving and deepening their knowledge base to provide the best possible instruction.

Today, eight SLS teachers got up early on a weekend morning to attend an all-day STEM workshop at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. Ms. Fries, Mrs. Ellerbrock, Mrs. Cabrera, Mrs. Riggin, Mrs. Yuska, Mrs. Whiteford, Mrs. Sacker and Mrs. Sutton spent the day learning about hydraulics, electric circuits, fundamental characteristics of sound, and how to effectively share that knowledge with St. Louis School students. The day culminated in an engineering design challenge requiring small teams to work together to design and build a mechanical sorter based on numeric rules. It was a day filled with creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and fun!

Create and Code at SLS

Looking for something fun to do with your kids on their day off? Families with children in grades PreK – 5th  are invited to join us for a morning of fun STEM-related activities! Drop-in to learn about robotics, augmented reality and have some fun with our green-screen technology, legos, and OSMOS! First 50 attendees will receive a special STEM giveaway! This event is free to the public.

 

Tuesday, November 6th from 9:30 am - 1:;00 am

Kindly register here so that we may have enough materials for all of our guests!

Ping Pong Zip Line STEM

Olivia participated in a STEM event hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory. Olivia engineered a ping pong zip line and had the fastest zip line creation, even faster than the one built by the SWE team! The engineer told Olivia to come back in 14 years to get a job as an engineer! #whereintheworldisStLouis @johnshopkinsapl @swetalk

Aqua Knights in the News!

The St. Louis School Aqua Knights robotics team is featured in the Baltimore Sun/Howard County Times this week. Thank you to all of our robotics coaches and parents who helped make this school year so successful.http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/ellicott-city/ph-ho-n-clarksville-0620-story.html

Maryland STEM Festival Podcast

Take a few moments to listen to our STEM Coordinator, Mrs. Zulma Whiteford, as she talks about all things STEM-related at SLS and our participation in this years' Maryland STEM Festival! Thanks to Mrs. Whiteford for her passion and leadership and for engaging our students with creativity and collaboration! #STEMatSLS Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools http://marylandstemfestival.libsyn.com/website/stem-and-the-st-louis-school

Narwhals at Catholic Robotics League Expo!

Summer is here and school is not in session, but we continue to highlight some of the great activities and accomplishments of our students during the past year.

Earlier in May, the Einstein Narwhals participated in the Catholic Robotics League (CRL) Expo at Baltimore Robotics Center in Timonium. The team shared their project, their experiences at the World Championship, ran their robot program as part of the competition and assisted with judging. A huge thank you to coach Anne Reed and team member Maggie Reed for offering their expertise with judging. It was an engaging and fun morning of competition with our fellow Archdiocesan teams. We look forward to many more!

Photo credit: Christopher Robinson
www.christopherrobinson.co

 

Can You Break Out?

Ms. Frederick’s Fifth Graders have been studying the events leading up to the American Revolution. They learned that spies and secret messages were common place while colonists decided which side of the Atlantic their allegiance fell. They put their “spy” sense to work today figuring out clues and secret messages in prime resources from that time period. The students loved working as a team to find missing papers they needed to, “Breakout!”

Revealing Medical Mysteries

Did you know that optical fibers can be woven into bandages to help monitor wounds?

Seventh Grade students explored advancements in medicine during their trip to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring. The museum, established during the Civil War in 1862, is designed to inspire curiosity and promote the understanding of medicine - past, present and future - with a focus on the Armed Forces.

Students learned about the process of plastination to preserve organs, developed by Gunther von Hagens in 1977, innovations in surgical repair techniques like facial reconstructions and much more. They had an opportunity to explore the exhibits, complete an exploration guide, listen to presentations and ask questions. To learn more about the museum visit: www.medicalmuseum.mil.

Students also enjoyed lunch at Brookside Gardens, where they were able to walk around the park and explore the beautiful grounds and gardens.

 

Cup Stacking Fun!

Learning can take place at any time and some of the best lessons come from hands-on activities. Sixth Grade students at St. Louis had the opportunity to engage in the 4 C's of STEM after finishing a final exam. The students used creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking to design and build free-standing towers using cups. Take a look at the fun-filled results!

Withstanding the Wolf!

Can you design and build a structure strong enough to protect the Three Little Pigs from the Big Bad Wolf? After reading the story, Mrs. Tyler’s PreK students were challenged to select materials, create a blueprint and build a structure to be put to the test. They used the STEM concept of iterative engineering to test their design, improve and correct any weaknesses and test again. The hair dryer huffed and puffed but the STEM-engineered houses did not fall down!

Save the Oceans!

What happens to all of the plastic that you throw away each day? Sadly, much of it ends up in our oceans. There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, and of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. This trash is negatively affecting ocean life and ultimately reaches the human food chain.

Mrs. Yuska’s Seventh Grade Science class took up the challenge of looking for solutions to this pollution problem. The students worked in groups to research the answers to the following questions: What negative effect do humans have on the Earth's oceans? What impact does trash play on the ocean ecosystems? What responsibility do humans have with regards to trash and the Earth's oceans?

After understanding the problem, students were given guidelines on developing a device to remove this trash, including that it must not be harmful to marine life, must be scalable and sustainable.

Although the prototype devices were constructed from cardboard and were not actually deployed to the ocean, one of the fundamental purposes of STEM education is to teach the skills that are necessary for effective problem solving. We teach students how to think critically about a problem and how to work collaboratively to develop solutions.

 

Following in Roman Footsteps

What kind of architecture did the ancient Romans use?
How do we still rely on this architecture today?
What allows the Roman arch to hold so much more weight than other structures?

These are just a few of the questions that were answered during Ms. Miller’s Sixth Grade Ancient Roman Architecture cross-curricular lesson. The students were introduced to Roman architecture and were guided through a research process during Library/Media class. Upon completion of the research, the students designed on paper the arch model they thought would hold the most weight and followed up by building their design in clay. The groups then tested their design by placing books and other heavy classroom objects on top of the clay model. One of the arches even held Ms. Miller! Everyone was impressed by the successful designs of ancient Romans.

 

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