STEM Blog

3D Cookie Cutters?

Posted January 4, 2019

Cookies are a Christmas tradition that is enjoyed by everyone. SLS students had the opportunity to design their own Christmas tree shaped cookie cutters using 3D design software this past week. We will be printing these designs just in time for the holiday cookie season in our brand new Dremel 3D printers. We can’t wait to see the results!

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Preparing for Launch

Posted January 4, 2019

The key to getting better at anything is practice! This morning our First LEGO League (FLL) team, the Nebula Narwhals, had an opportunity to practice their presentation and execution skills at the Fall Workshop and Scrimmage of the Catholic Robotics League (CRL). The CRL mission is to inspire, develop, support, and encourage competitive robotics teams within the Archdiocese of Baltimore school system.

The Narwhals participated in a series of workshops and scrimmages to prepare them for launch “Into Orbit” as part of this year’s FLL theme of space exploration. We were happy to see two Narwhal alumni, now both attending Mount de Sales Academy, serve as scrimmage referees today. In addition, Narwhals coach Anne Reed led one of the coach's workshops this morning.

We would like to thank the CAV-ineers, the Archbishop Spalding High School Robotics team, their head coach Amy Brunner, CRL Commissioner Bianca Giudicci, and Joe Oleszczuk, Archdiocese Director of Educational Technology, for the opportunity to collaborate with teams from other schools. We are now better prepared to launch “Into Orbit”. To learn more about FLL visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/

 

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Three Dimensional Empowerment

Posted January 4, 2019

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.

 

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WGTS 91.9

Posted January 4, 2019

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/

 

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Can a Fish Cure a Disease?

Posted January 4, 2019

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.

 

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Maryland STEM Festival Podcast

Posted January 4, 2019

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

Posted December 13, 2018
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!

Posted November 6, 2018

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

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Bat Crazy Third Graders!

Posted November 5, 2018

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!

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Decoding STEM

Posted October 19, 2018

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/

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STEM Speaker Series Kickoff!

Posted October 4, 2018

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 

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Getting our STEM On!

Posted September 17, 2018

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!




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