STEM Blog

Three Dimensional Empowerment

As part of the St. Louis School STEM Speaker Series, our Fifth Grade students took the opportunity to learn about 3D printing from Preston Tobery, Coordinator of Maker Technologies of the University of Maryland’s John and Stella Graves MakerSpace. Mr. Tobery shared details about his career, the technologies found at the Maker Space and his passion for 3D printing and design with the goal of making a difference in our world. We learned about his design of a 3D prosthetic arm for a friend, his assistive wheelchair for Chloe, a paralyzed kitten, and his “Mega Feeder” design for Badger, a kitten suffering from megaesophagus. Mr. Tobery shared how he has re-evaluated the Mega Feeder and went through a re-design to improve it, all based on feedback and observed need. The students were able to view an actual 3D-printed Mega Feeder and discussed details about the design, the hollow portions to reduce print time, and the materials used.

Mr. Tobery told the students how he uses mathematics every day when creating and printing designs and encouraged them to pursue what interests them with a mindset to look for solutions to problems. Be curious!

The Fifth Grade students were gifted with their very own Testudo, a 3D-printed design of the University of Maryland turtle statue located outside the McKeldin Library in College Park. We would like to thank Mr. Tobery for the gift of his time and talent and for inspiring our students to pursue careers in the STEM fields.

 

WGTS 91.9

For most of us, radio is a regular part of daily life. Have you ever stopped to consider what it takes to produce a show?

Yesterday, St. Louis School 8th Grade students got a virtual tour of local radio station WGTS 91.9 FM and learned exactly what it takes. Producer Spencer White and morning talk show hosts Jerry Woods and Blanca Vega welcomed us into their production room and answered student questions, covering everything from show preparation, music selection, and the technology and algorithms behind it.

WGTS is a Christian Radio station that inspires listeners with words of kindness, hope, and prayer. The morning show focuses on “starting your day with a smile, some inspiration and a good dose of audio coffee.”

We would like to express our thanks to the team at WGTS and to Ms. Sandy Osborne, our Music teacher, who arranged this meeting and prepared the students with background information and questions for the hosts. Perhaps we have some future radio engineers, producers and on-air talent in the SLS Class of 2019.

To learn more about WGTS visit: http://wgts.org/

 

Can a Fish Cure a Disease?

Holt-Oram syndrome is characterized by skeletal abnormalities of the hands and arms (upper limbs) and heart problems. The zebrafish, found in many aquariums around the world, may hold the key to curing this syndrome.

The second presenter in our STEM Speaker Series, Ph.D. candidate Erin Boyle Anderson from the University of Chicago, discussed her ongoing zebrafish research with St. Louis School Seventh Graders today. Her exploration of the zebrafish fin growth mechanism is providing valuable insight into cellular growth. Ms. Anderson explained her research process, discussed challenges and opportunities and gave us a guided tour of her lab. Her ultimate advice to our Seventh Graders was to be curious and to learn about things that interest them.

We are grateful to Erin Boyle Anderson for spending an hour with our students, answering many relevant questions and encouraging them to continue pursuing careers in STEM. We would also like to thank Microsoft and their sponsorship of Skype in the Classroom for the opportunity to learn from a variety of working STEM professionals.

 

Maryland STEM Festival Podcast

St. Louis School is proud to have participated in the Maryland STEM Festival for the third year in a row. We thank everyone who attended and helped make this event a success. A special thank you to Phil Rogofsky for stopping by and for interviewing our STEM Student Ambassadors and a member of our parent community. Check out the podcast of the interview below.

 

https://youtu.be/Uywd6ffFVJo

Python Christmas Tree Turtle Drawing Code

from turtle import *
 
def move_to( x, y ):
    penup()
    setx( x )
    sety( y )
    pendown()
 
 
def draw_triangle( size ):
    color( 'black', 'green')
    begin_fill()
 
    setheading( 240 )
    for i in range( 0,3 ):
        forward( size )
        left( 120 )
 
    end_fill()
 
 
def draw_circle( size, c_color ):
    color( 'black', c_color )
    begin_fill()
    circle( size )
    end_fill()
 
 
def draw_star( size ):
    color( 'black', 'yellow' )
    setheading( 72 )
    begin_fill()
    
    for i in range( 0, 5 ):
        forward( size )
        right( 144 )
 
    end_fill()
 
    
# Draw the tree
 
move_to( 50, -80 )
draw_triangle( 200 )
 
move_to( 50, 0 )
draw_triangle( 150 )
 
move_to( 50, 50 )
draw_triangle( 100 )
 
 
# Draw the star
 
move_to( 39, 40 )
draw_star( 40 )
 
 
# Draw the ornaments
 
move_to( 80, -40 )
draw_circle( 15, 'red' )
 
move_to( 20, -100 )
draw_circle( 15, 'blue' )
 
move_to( 100, -200 )
draw_circle( 15, 'purple' )
 
 
# Draw the message
 
move_to( -30, 100 )
write( "Merry Christmas!", font=( "Arial", 16, "bold" ) )
 
 
done()
 

Maryland STEM Festival Event at SLS!

As part of our participation in the Maryland STEM Festival, St. Louis School hosted a Create & Code event this morning to showcase some fun STEM-related activities. We are grateful to all who turned out on this dreary day to brighten our morning. It sure was fun!

Thanks to Phil Rogofsky, Director of the Maryland STEM Festival for dropping by to visit and to our awesome STEM student-ambassadors for helping our guests jump right in. Be sure to visit for our next Open House on December 5th from 9:30 - 11:00 AM. We would love to meet you and show you around! with Maryland STEM Festival

Bat Crazy Third Graders!

For the past couple of weeks, our 3rd graders have been researching, reading, and writing about bats including their life cycles, wing parts, habitats, and other interesting facts, incorporating concepts and resources across Science, Language Arts, Social Studies and Library.

Faced with scenarios involving injured bats, students also had the chance to put their STEM skills to use with team collaboration, designing/planning, and building to solve three different design challenges under real-life constraints.

As you can tell - they loved it and did a Bat-tastic job! Thanks to Mrs. Cabrera for the engaging and fun lesson!

Decoding STEM

Our Cyber STEM group (Grades 4 through 8) participated in a field trip to the National Cryptologic Museum, where we learned about the history of code making and code breaking. A particular highlight was learning about how the Allies broke the Enigma code in World War Two. The students participated in a scavenger hunt that led them through the evolution of cryptology, including chalk symbols during the Depression, the use of Navajo soldiers in the military, simple ciphers, breaking Japanese codes, the role of encryption in WWII and an introduction to modern cryptology. You and your child may wish to visit the National Security Agency’s Crypto Kids web site at:https://www.nsa.gov/kids/

STEM Speaker Series Kickoff!

Archeology is not just about dinosaurs! This statement came from McKenzie “Mack” Corey, a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University and the first speaker in this year’s St. Louis School Stem Speaker series. Mack talked with our Sixth Graders remotely as part of the Skype in the Classroom program. Our students learned about his background, his education, basic archeological techniques and the process of deciding where to dig. Mack also described how to examine the artifacts that may be found and how they help connect us to our history. We are thankful to Mackenzie Corey for spending more than an hour with our students, answering many relevant questions and encouraging them to continue pursuing careers in STEM. We would also like to thank Microsoft and their sponsorship of Skype in the classroom for the opportunity to learn from a variety of working STEM professionals. #BeaKnight 

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

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