STEM Blog

Outdoor Education!

Posted September 6, 2022

Outdoor Ed students were busy today despite the rain, trying out survival skills, meeting some wild animals, practicing archery, and exploring the Black Rock campus. Visit the link below for more photos of the three day experience: https://sites.google.com/stlouisparish.org/outdoor-ed-2022/home

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First Grade Engineers

Posted June 15, 2022

What do First Graders and engineers have in common? Our students used the LEGO Education WeDo kits to explore the answer. This week, Mrs. Vicendese's First Graders created an animated narrative using Lego WeDo Robotics, they wrote their story, programmed their robots, created a backdrop, and added props to enhance their story. The class enjoyed sharing their stories and demonstrating their robot animation skills.

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Carnival Day STEM

Posted June 15, 2022
Carnival Day is a long-standing tradition at St. Louis School and this year we started the day with some STEM fun! 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.
Challenge activities included designing and building a foosball game, making a critter catcher, building a car ramp, paper roller coasters, designing and testing a space lander, bridge building challenges, and more. Students finished the school year with a hands-on, fun-filled, inquiry-based educational experience. #STEMatSLS #RiseAbove #AOBCatholicSchools

 

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3D Bubbles!

Posted June 15, 2022
3D printing technology is changing the way we produce and manufacture products. With 3D printing, you can turn design ideas into physical objects quickly and inexpensively.
Mrs. Phelps’ Second Grade Computer class students received an introduction to 3D printing and then tried their hand at creating a bubble wand. Students worked in teams to determine the basic shape and design of their bubble wand. They first drew the design on paper, then used Google Slides to establish a digital outline. Mrs. Phelps took those designs and converted them into a format suitable for 3D printing. Each team took advantage of the beautiful weather to test their prototypes with outstanding results. Well done! #STEMatSLS #RiseAbove Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools Dremel

 

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The Miracle of Life

Posted June 15, 2022
The miracle of life extends to the world of plants. Ms. Rossi’s Fifth Grade Science class began a plant growth project in April by placing parts of a plant in water to encourage root growth. This week, with the plants ready for potting, they used STEM skills to build self-watering pots from recycled materials.
Students cut empty water bottles in half and used the top half turned upside down to hold soil for the plant. The bottom half holds water. In the mouth of the bottle is a paper towel wrapped in a coffee filter that pulls the water up to the soil.
Mrs. Riggin joined in and helped our students complete the project! #STEMatSLS #RiseAbove #AOBCatholicSchools

 

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Planning for the Future

Posted June 15, 2022

In Math class, Fourth graders had a chance to take the roles of urban and city planner engineers to plan their very own city. They used the geometry concepts learned through the year and applied their knowledge by developing their own city map with geometric requirements.

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Back on the Road!

Posted June 15, 2022

A key component of learning is self-guided exploration and the Maryland Science Center provides a perfect environment for this to occur. SLS Sixth Grade students increased their STEM knowledge today while exploring interactive exhibits including creating a water vortex, experiencing the inside of a tornado, and laying on a bed of nails. It was a full day of intellectual adventure and fun! Thank you to Ms. Peterson and Mr. Deegan for planning this field trip experience and to the staff at the Maryland Science Center for their guidance and support.

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Fishers of Men

Posted June 15, 2022
In the book of Matthew, we read that Jesus found Simon Peter and Andrew along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, working as fishermen and casting a net into the water. He called to them and promised to make them "fishers of men." In a like manner, we are called to be disciples as well.
As a reminder of this calling, Ms. Miller's Sixth Grade Religion class was challenged to use their STEM design and engineering skills to make a net out of paper capable of holding at least six golf balls. Students were grouped into teams and got to work forming and weaving strips of paper into a usable net. One team managed to build a net that held 45 balls! #STEMatSLS #AOBCatholicSchools #riseabove

 

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Thermodynamic Gas Law!

Posted June 15, 2022
Experimentation is a critical part of Science - and can be a lot of fun!
Mr. Hurst’s Seventh Grade Science class had a number of special guest mentors in the lab this morning when they hosted Mount Saint Joseph High School AP Chemistry students and their Chemistry teacher, Mr.Jason Ader.
Today's experimentation focused on the principles of the Thermodynamic Gas Law. Students used Alka Seltzer tablets as a gas generator to propel small canisters, observing how temperature affects pressure over time. For an hour or so there were little rockets flying all over the St. Louis Science Lab!
We would like to thank Mount Saint Joseph High School for providing a wonderful educational and a memorable experience for our students. A special thank you to our SLS alums, Nick and Drew for coming back and serving as outstanding role models. #stematsls Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools

 

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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

 

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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. 

 



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