STEM Blog

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.

 

Breakout EDU

Our Breakout EDU boxes have arrived and teachers are excited to incorporate them into their classroom! Breakout EDU is an engaging learning games platform where teachers turn their classrooms into academically-focused puzzles and where students use critical thinking skills while collaborating with team members to solve the challenges and unlock the box. Breakout EDU games are available for all grade levels and subject areas. To learn more about Breakout EDU visit: https://www.breakoutedu.com

Whooo...was for dinner?

Mrs. Riggin’s Fifth Grade ecologists have been busy learning about ecosystems, food webs and food chains. This week 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!

Aqua Knights Win!

The Results are In! The St. Louis School Aqua Knights won First Place for product presentation, Second Place for robot demonstration and Second Place overall. We would like to thank the coaches, Chuck Kerechanin and Angela Fatula, for their gift of time and talent to make this possible. We would also like to thank the Aqua Knights parents for their enthusiastic support of the team. The St. Louis community is proud of their hard work, dedication and ultimate success!

Aqua Knight Update!

The Saint Louis School AquaKnights have completed the morning competition and are awaiting final results. They had a very successful robot run in the water and marketing presentation.

The AquaKnights are in a select group of competitors, being one of just 35 teams and the only team from Maryland. Other teams hail from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, DC, Virginia, New York and Ontario, Canada.

Aqua Knights are Ready to Swim!

The St. Louis School Aqua Knights team has built an under water Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and spent most of the winter getting ready for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Regional competition to be held at Villanova University tomorrow morning. We would like to offer the team Best Wishes at the competition. GO AQUA KNIGHTS!

VEX Robots!

The SLS VEX Robots are charged and ready for the last session of Spring Cyber STEM!

Into Orbit!

Fresh on the heels of our success at the First Lego League (FLL) World Championship in Detroit, St. Louis School is already planning for next year. The FLL theme for 2019 is “Into Orbit” and to kick off our efforts, today our students heard from NASA astronaut Tom Jones. As part of our STEM Speaker series, Dr. Jones described his journey to become an astronaut, his education beginning at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, his time at the Air Force Academy, his four space shuttle missions and what it was like to live in space for a total of 53 days. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and he was kind enough to pose for photographs with our robotics teams. We would like to thank Dr. Jones for his inspiring words, perhaps one of our students will become an astronaut and be the first to walk on Mars!

Narwhals Win!

St. Louis School First LEGO League (FLL) Robotics team, the Einstein Narwhals, won a Judges Award at the 2018 World Championship in Detroit! Team members spent four days competing, collaborating, learning and making new friends at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. Maryland was well represented with another award winner, the Water Buffalegos from Glenelg. Both teams supported and cheered each other on and new friendships were formed. The Narwhals also got to know other robotics enthusiasts from Estonia, Lithuania, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and many other countries.

It was a meaningful and memorable event for the Narwhals, made possible through the tireless efforts of coaches Anne Reed and Jenn Sleeman, who gave selflessly of their time and talents. St. Louis School would also like to thank the parents and other supporters of the Einstein Narwhals on their incredible journey this year. Next year, “Into Orbit!”

Pages