STEM Blog

America Needs Engineers!

As part of St Louis School’s continuing STEM Speaker Series, today students in Grades 5 through 8 had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Damon Bradley, a scientist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dr. Bradley discussed his work on planetary probes, computer software for signal processing and explained the four mission areas of NASA (heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and lunar science and earth science). He encouraged the students to pay attention in class, take their studies seriously and to always ask questions about how things work. His hope is that more students will take the plunge into STEM and ultimately become engineers, to help fill the rapidly growing need for technologically-capable individuals in government agencies and private industry. We would like to thank Dr. Bradley for taking the time out of his day to speak with us and to the USA Science and Engineering Festival for connecting us through the Nifty Fifty program.@USAScienceFest

The Great Duck Project!

One of the core tenets of STEM education is collaboration. SLS students are collaborating with individuals around the world to build the world’s largest 3D-printed duck. The duck, to be unveiled at the Westport (Connecticut) Maker Faire on Saturday, April 27th, will consist of more than 475 pieces and reach six feet in height. Organizers used computer software to design the duck and divide it into manageable pieces that could be produced by ordinary 3D printers.

SLS applied to participate and was selected to produce two pieces on our new Dremel printers. Each of the two Third Grade homerooms were chosen to produce one of the pieces, where students watched it print and made guesses as to where it belongs in the overall duck design.

The completed pieces are now in the mail and on the way to the project organizers.

To learn more about the project visit: Thegreatduckproject.com #BeaKnight#STEMatSLS

 

They Chicks have Arrived!

The excitement in the Science Lab continues as our baby chicks arrive! Yesterday most of the eggs hatched the cutest little chicks and our students created quite a clamor to get an up close and personal look. They gingerly moved the chicks from the incubator to their temporary home where the chicks huddled together to keep warm. The students and teachers also taught the chicks how to drink by "leading them to water" so to speak. Some of the braver chicks came out to take a look at their new friends - looking through the glass and taking a bow! A great big SLS shoutout to Mr. Seastrom and his family for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students.

More to come today -- Stay tuned!

Egg Watch!

Over the last several weeks our middle school science classes have been on egg watch. We have been incubating chicks and they are about ready to hatch — we can even hear little peeps coming from the eggs! Tomorrow is the day and we are so excited!

CRL Win!

Breaking news! St. Louis School took home two FIRST Lego League trophies from today's Catholic Robotics League Celebration!

Our team, the Space Nuggets won for Robot Performance with the highest score on the Robot Game.

And our Galaxy Voyagers team won the Rising Star trophy for highest combined scores in Project & Core Values judging.

 

PreK Tests

With spring arriving and summer just around the corner, our PK students recently explored how to protect themselves and their animals from sun exposure. They first created animals out of pipe cleaners, adding ultraviolet-sensitive beads to measure their exposure to ultraviolet rays that are present in sunlight and light from various artificial sources. They then built houses designed to protect the animals from the sun. Once they were finished building, they took the animals and homes outside letting the UV beads change color in the sun. Once the color changed, they then put their animals in the shelter to see if the beads changed back to clear -- proving that their shelters worked! Great job kiddos!

Stay Curious and Pursue your Passions

“Stay curious and pursue your passions” was the recurring message for SLS students attending the USA Science and Engineering Festival X-STEM Symposium today at the Washington Convention Center. Inspirational talks by scientists, physicians and inventors gave our students insight into how pursuing your passion can help lead to the future you desire. We heard about Brain-Machine Integration from Dr. Kafui Dzirasa, who described his research into understanding the underlying mechanisms that drive mental illness. Amy Sterling, Executive Director of Eyewire, told us how they are using crowdsourcing and video games to help map brain neurons. Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, shared the importance of food science in our global economy. Additional speakers provided details about ongoing research in primatology, cell biology and cancer research. Our students had the opportunity to ask questions and solicit advice from each speaker and learn about their background and childhood passions. This trip marks our sixth year of attendance to the USA Science and Engineering Festival X-STEM Symposium and is part of our ongoing St. Louis School STEM Speaker series. #BeaKnight #STEMatSLS

Serving Pi in Annapolis

 

Five of our STEM Ambassadors represented St. Louis School at the Maryland STEM Festival Pi Day event today at the Annapolis State House. Students from dozens of local schools attended the event and learned from our Ambassadors about SLS STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities including Ozobot robot coding, Augmented Reality (AR) and First LEGO League (FLL) competition robots.

Our Ambassadors had an opportunity to chat with Lt. Gov Rutherford, Howard County Delegate Jen Terrasa and Edith Perry, Community Liaison for Delegate Joseline Peña- Melnick.

At the end of the day, our Ambassadors visited Delegate Tawanna Gaines’ office thanks to Mrs. Lauren Jagtiani, an aide to Delegate Gaines and an SLS parent. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Delegate Gaines gave us insight into the budgeting process and how money is allocated in the state.

We also had an opportunity to meet members of the Atholton First Robotics Challenge (FRC) team and learn all about their Raspberry Pi-controlled robot. We were all inspired by students from the Maryland School for the Blind and their use of technology to support their FLL team and classroom work.

Thank you to Mrs. Anne Reed and Mrs. Mimi Teahan for helping to facilitate our visit to the capital.

We are proud of our STEM Ambassadors for serving as role models for younger students and helping inspire future careers in STEM. #STEMatSLS#BeaKnight @MarylandSTEMFestival @Archbaltschools

 

Mathematical Fashion

Pi is a mathematical value that is defined as the ratio of a circle's

circumference to its diameter. It is a constant, always staying the
same regardless of the size of the circle. The numeric value of Pi is
approximately 3.14159 and it appears in many math and physics formulas.

Taking the first three digits, 3.14, as a date, we have today - Pi Day!

In celebration of Pi Day, Mrs. Riggin's math class fashioned bracelets
made from beads, with enough of each color to match the first few digits
of Pi. Mathematical fashion!

 

HESS Toy Trucks for STEM!

Our Hess STEM kits have arrived! Thank you Hess Toy Truck for the tools and curriculum to continue to enhance STEM education at St. Louis School. #BeaKnight #STEMatSLS

STEM Family Fun Night

The Seventh Annual STEM Family Fun Night brought over a hundred students and parents to St Louis School on Thursday evening to learn more about robotics and participate in a series of hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities. Our robotics teams kicked-off the evening, demonstrating their robots, projects and programming skills while encouraging younger students to get involved. The Aqua Knights, the Galactic Knights, the Galaxy Voyagers, the Nebula Narwhals and the Space Nuggets all had the opportunity to interact with the students and parents and share their enthusiasm for the creativity and exploration that robotics enables. The @Archbishop Spalding First Robotics Competition team, @4541cavineers, and their robot "4541" informed and entertained the audience with a display of agility, including picking up and accurately placing a yellow block from over seven feet high! They talked about their planning and build process and how the competition runs. The Cavineers also made the connection with the First LEGO League (FLL) competition by talking about the design process and how often we have to test and rebuild to succeed. What a remarkable group of High School students and a role model to us all! To learn more about the Cavineers visit their website at: https://www.4541cavineers.org/ As always, we are grateful to our parent coaches and the students for their dedication and cannot wait to see what is next! Lastly a great by SLS "Thank You" to all the teachers and staff who stayed to help out – we couldn’t do it without you! #BeaKnight #STEMatSLS @Archbaltschools

Ozobot Coding!

On Monday, Mrs. Phelp's Second Grade Computer class learned how to program our Ozobots, a ping pong ball sized robot that uses a color sensor to follow commands encoded in color lines. The challenge of the day was to design a track and incorporate at least three commands. The students worked in pairs, used rulers and straight edges to design the track and worked out the appropriate series of commands to have their robot speed up, slow down, dance and or turn around. The students had a great time and followed the 4C’s (creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking) of STEM education to achieve their goal. Join us at STEM Night where we will raffle an Ozobot! #BeaKnight #STEMatSLS @Ozobot

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