STEM Blog

Tools for Testing

Posted July 24, 2019

The study and practice of STEM encourages the testing of hypotheses through experimentation. But where do you find the proper materials for testing?

In the case of human cellular activity, doctors and scientists can use “HeLa” cells, named after Henrietta Lacks. Mrs. Lacks came to Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s for cancer treatment and her cells showed a remarkable “immortal” capability to live on while similar cells from other patients quickly died. These cells have been used to develop the polio vaccine, test the effects of poisons, study how viruses work and learn more about the human genome.

St. Louis School camp attendees learned about HeLa cells and how their legacy has improved the lives of medical patients from Dr. James Potter, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. The campers then had a hands-on opportunity to learn how to stain cells and look at them under a microscope.

The St. Louis community would like to thank Dr. Potter for sharing his time and expertise with our students. We would also like to thank Dr. Millar, Dr. Zachos and Mrs. Lewis for their continued gift of time, talent and inspiration to benefit our kids. #STEMatSLS

 

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BioMedical STEM Camp

Posted July 24, 2019

Last week the World Health Organization declared the current Ebola
outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a public health emergency. More than 1,600 people have died since August in the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

What is Ebola? How does it spread? What about vaccines? Are they all effective?

As part of our continuing commitment to STEM education, St Louis School is running a Biomedical STEM Camp this week for students in grades 5 through 8. Attendees are participating in presentations, challenges and hands-on activities to learn how to identify, treat and prevent infectious diseases. Called “From Lab Bench to Bedside…and Beyond,” the five-day camp is led by parent professionals in the biomedical field.

A huge thank you to our camp sponsors Dr. Mary Anne Baysac, Benavent Dental, McCarl Dental, Chesapeake Pediatric Dental, Calvert Hall Colle High School and Kaiser Permanente, we truly appreciate your support.

 

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Surgery in Progress!

Posted June 18, 2019

Mrs. Johnson’s 2nd-grade class spent the afternoon in the Operating room doing a little “contraction surgery”. After donning their surgical masks, gowns and gloves, the students cut out the letters not needed and sutured in the correct punctuation, applying bandages along the way. Such a great activity for all of our little Doogie Howsers! Great job Mrs. (Dr.) Johnson!

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Creative Innovation and Problem Solving

Posted June 18, 2019

As part of our continued commitment to STEM education, we held a school-wide activity last week to engage our students in critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication. This school-wide event was focused on creative innovation and problem solving. Challenge activities included Ozobot challenges, spaghetti marshmallow towers, marble mazes, paper chain races, pentominoes, bottle rockets, HotWheels cars and tracks, archery challenges, plastic sorting, Three Little Pig house construction and more. Each teacher was encouraged to complete the process by providing feedback about their activity and how their students responded. You can get a sense of how the day progressed in the photographs below. Students and faculty had a fun-filled, inquiry-based educational experience and we look forward to many more. #STEMatSLS #BeaKnight #RiseAbove

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Ready to Launch!

Posted June 18, 2019

Last week St Louis School held a STEM Challenge Morning, where each classroom took part in a hands-on exercise to encourage critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication.

Mrs. Yuska’s homeroom was challenged to design a launch pad that would be effective for the launch of chemically-powered rockets made from empty two-liter soda bottles.

Teams of Seventh Grade rocket engineers used the school’s field as a launch area and tested various designs to experimentally determine the best one. Mrs. Yuska and Mrs. Whiteford culminated the event with the launch of an unmodified “control” rocket that actually achieved the highest altitude.

The bottle rockets were powered by combining baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3) and vinegar (acetic acid, CH3COOH), forming an energetic acid/base reaction. This results in carbonic acid, which quickly breaks down into water and carbon dioxide (CO2), along with sodium acetate. The buildup of CO2 creates pressure inside the bottle and eventually pushes the cork out of the bottle top.

Students learned the practical application of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. After the cork is ejected, the CO2 accelerates out of the bottom of the rocket, pushing the rocket upwards with great speed! #BeaKnight#STEMatSLS Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools

 





Whoo...was for dinner?

Posted June 18, 2019

Mrs. Riggin’s Fifth Grade ecologists have been busy learning about ecosystems, food webs and food chains. Today in Science Lab they investigated what owls eat by dissecting owl pellets. They learned that owls swallow their prey whole, absorbing the nutrients but not the inedible components including bones, feathers, fur, etc. Owl stomachs produce these pellets of indigestible parts, which are then regurgitated. Students dissected the pellets and matched the bones to a chart of various small animal bones. Some students even found entire skulls in their pellets!

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Printing from the Heart

Posted June 18, 2019

3D printing continues to positively impact the world, helping to create affordable prosthetics and advanced designs in manufacturing, promoting coral reef growth, preserving archeological artifacts and much more. As part of our continuing STEM curriculum, Mrs. Phelp’s First Grade Computer Class was challenged to design and 3D print a Mother’s Day charm. The students were introduced to 3D printing technology and had the opportunity to examine a real-life example of a replacement part printed for a camera tripod. Mrs. Phelps discussed the use of 3D printing by the Arkansas Archeological Survey, which is part of the University of Arkansas system. The students had the opportunity to touch and hold one of the 3D printed artifacts from a file sent to us from the Arkansas Archeological Survey. We would like to thank the @ArkansasArcheologicalSurvey for sharing their work with our students to inspire their curiosity and learning. To learn more about the Arkansas Archeological Survey, visit https://archeology.uark.edu/3d/ The students designed their charms with pencil and paper then proceeded to recreate their designs on the computer using a software program called Pixie. The resulting files were processed through Dremel 3D slicer software, printed and proudly worn by the students to demonstrate their gift to their moms.

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Robotics at SLS!

Posted June 18, 2019

In five short years, the St. Louis School Robotics program has blossomed into four award-winning FIRST Robotics Competition First LEGO League (FLL) teams and one MATE ROV Competition Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) team, with passionate members empowered by committed parents and mentors. We want to recognize and celebrate these students for their hard work and their commitment to STEM education. STEM education promotes discovery, exploration, higher-level thinking, logical reasoning, collaboration and problem-solving, both inside and outside the classroom. A huge thank you to our parent coaches and mentors for providing these opportunities. We look forward to another remarkable robotics season at SLS next school year. #BeaKnight#STEMatSLS Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools




Project Birdman

Posted June 4, 2019

Why do birds have so many kinds of beaks? “Have you ever noticed that different species of birds have different shaped beaks? You would expect birds that live in the same habitat

to eat the same food sources. However, to avoid competition with each other, birds have had to adapt over time to fill different niches within the habitat. One of those adaptations is the shape of the bird’s beak, which is used to gather and eat food.” (Project Birdman - Kesler Science.com)

 
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Pete the Cat STEM

Posted May 17, 2019

Our PK students just finished reading "Pete the Cat - I Love my White Shoes", in which Pete gets into all sorts of messes turning his shoes anything but white. Utilizing the four "C's" of STEM: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, the students had a blast figuring out ways to help Pete keep his shoes white. They brainstormed to build different bridges and structures in order for Pete to cross over the strawberries, blueberries, mud, and water he encountered along his way. Brilliant!

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Piloting to Success!

Posted May 16, 2019

Today the St. Louis School AquaKnights won Second Place for Robot Demonstration and Third Place for Product Presentation at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition held at Villanova University. The AquaKnights were the youngest team to compete and faced off against 28 other teams from Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, New York and Ontario, Canada.

Over the past school year the team designed, built and tested an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and today was the culmination of that effort.

"The MATE competition requires students to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell products. In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges."

To learn more about the MATE ROV competition, visit https://www.marinetech.org/home/

We would like to thank the coaches, Chuck Kerechanin and Angela Fatula, for their gift of time and talent to make this possible and the Romano family for providing a pool for testing. We would also like to thank the AquaKnight parents for their enthusiastic support of the team. The St. Louis community is proud of their hard work, dedication and ultimate success! #BeaKnight #STEMatSLS

 

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Science and Snacks

Posted May 16, 2019

Can you walk on eggs? The winners of Mrs. Cabrera’s and Ms. Fries’ “Science and Snacks” teacher attraction had an opportunity to find out last week. The students spent the afternoon exploring Chemistry and Physics topics like magnetism, force, surface tension, pressure, force, through engaging science experiments. They had a great time with all the experiments but the Egg Walk Challenge may have been a favorite! A huge thank you to Mrs. Cabrera and Ms. Fries for the opportunity to engage in science fun! #BeaKnight #STEMatSLS

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