STEM Blog

Final Fall Cyber STEM Challenge

Posted December 9, 2017

The Fall Session of our CyberSTEM After School program came to a close this week with an engaging and fun cup-stacking challenge held in the Science Lab. Each student was randomly assigned to a group and instructed to work collaboratively to design and build the tallest free-standing tower in 20 minutes or less using 100 Solo cups. Lots of cheering and cup crashing sounds ultimately led to a tie between two teams, each with a tower measuring 92 inches in height.

During the course of our Fall Session, the 50 CyberSTEM participants were introduced to the Python programming language, turtle drawing features, math formulas, cryptology and hexadecimal notation. They also took a field trip to the National Electronics Museum (NEM) in Linthicum where they learned about the history of electronics and its application to communications and national defense.

We are looking forward to our CyberSTEM Spring Session, where we will develop additional coding skills and explore robotics.

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Help the Gingerbread Man Escape!

Posted November 26, 2017

After reading the classic fairy tale of the Gingerbread Man, Mrs. Vicendese and Mrs. Coyle challenged their students to create an escape route for the Gingerbread Man so that he would not suffer his fate at the jaws of the fox. The students were given basic materials to build bridges over which the Gingerbread man could run, run - as fast as he can. Working in groups, the students collaborated and did an awesome job saving the day! #everyspaceisamakerspace #SLSSTEM

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Native American STEM

Posted November 19, 2017

On Friday, the Second Graders participated in an integrated Social Studies and Science lesson focused on the Wampanoag native American tribe. The activity was based on the Wampanoag children and how they had to use materials around them to make games and toys. The students were given ten cups, four bendy straws, four pieces of yarn, and one rubber band to build a pyramid of cups without using their hands. The students were allowed a short period of time to strategize and then quickly jumped into the challenge.

It was impressive to see the various creative solutions that resulted from their collaboration! #everyspaceisamakerspace #RiseAbove#trublue

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Cell Diffusion Exploration

Posted November 19, 2017

On Friday in Science Lab, the 7th grade explored the concept of how cells maintain homeostasis by allowing materials in and out of the cell through the process of diffusion. In this lab the students used a suspension of cornstarch and water to represent a cell, plastic wrap to represent the cell membrane, and various concentrations of iodine solutions to represent the raw materials a cell needs to perform life processes. The variables tested were the various concentrations of the iodine and various temperatures of the cornstarch suspensions. The students hypothesized about how these variable would affect the rate of diffusion into or out of their cells.

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Saving Turkeys a Week Before Thanksgiving!

Posted November 14, 2017

SLS Middle School students used logic, communication and collaboration to solve a series of challenging digital puzzles and successfully completed a Breakout challenge. St. Louis School is introducing the BreakoutEDU platform to help improve our student’s critical, observational, non-linear and problem-solving skills. The Thanksgiving-themed lesson challenged students to unlock a series of puzzles and ultimately free a virtual turkey. To learn more about the educational benefits of BreakoutEDU visit: https://www.breakoutedu.com

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Maryland STEM Festival

Posted November 12, 2017

Thanks to all who visited for our Maryland STEM Festival Create & Code event. From the youngest engineers building skyscrapers with Legos, to making electrical circuits and playing around with augmented reality - it was a great afternoon of fun and learning for all! Below are the green screen pictures available for download. 

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Twenty One Elephants

Posted October 7, 2017

Our students in Mrs. Birman’s third grade class had a blast today when presented with a cross-curricular STEM/reading project. They read a story called “Twenty One Elephants” as a part of a unit on bridges that they are working on in Reading. The story is about Barnum's circus elephants, and how the circus had the elephants cross the Brooklyn Bridge in 1884 to prove that the bridge was safe. Students were tasked with designing a bridge using classroom materials such as cups, popsicle sticks, straws, clay, rubber bands, etc. The design had to be able to hold twenty one "elephants," which they modeled with math counting cubes. The students worked together in teams and all made a successful bridge that could withstand the weight of the cubes. They did an amazing job! #STEMatSLS#3rdgraderocks

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Cyber STEM Fun!

Posted October 5, 2017

Today we kicked off the fall Cyber STEM session today with a collaborative balloon tower challenge where teams of students from a variety of grades worked together to create the tallest free-standing balloon structure in a limited amount of time. It was an opportunity for Cyber STEM students to meet each other, use their communication skills to plan a tower design and execute their plan. The sound of popping balloons was an added bonus!

We concluded the afternoon with an introduction to the Python programming language, beginning with the Python’s turtle drawing feature to create shapes of different colors. #STEMatSLS

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“On your mark, get set, flow!”

Posted October 3, 2017

Our First LEGO League (FLL) coaches kicked off the 2017 season by attending the annual Maryland FLL Kick Off at UMBC this past Saturday. We are particularly proud of Coach Anne Reed, who was invited to lead a session and share her knowledge and expertise with other coaches.

 

SLS is sponsoring three teams this year and we look forward to seeing their work in the area of hydrodynamics, this year’s current challenge. “What might become possible when we understand what happens to our water?”

 

To learn more about FLL, please visit www.firstinspires.org

 
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The Early Bird Gets the STEM

Posted September 10, 2017

Three St. Louis teachers, Ms. Frederick, Mrs. Riggin and Mrs. Whiteford, woke up before the crack of dawn to attend a day of STEM professional development at the United States Naval Academy. The theme for the day was Engineering Design and it included lessons on hydraulics, electrical circuits and fundamental mechanical machines. The program culminated with an engineering challenge to design and build a missile replacement mechanism for the NAVY. To learn more about the USNA STEM program visit: https://www.usna.edu/STEM/index.php

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Peat Moss and Air Cannon Vortexes?

Posted August 28, 2017

Did you know that peat moss reproduces using an air vortex cannon? Teachers at St. Louis School had the opportunity to learn about this and more during today's NPR's Science Friday professional development event. Watch the video about this phenomenon by visiting: https://www.sciencefriday.com/…/the-secretly-speedy-life-o…/

 

 

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Learn to Code with Scratch

Posted June 3, 2017

Scratch is a programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab and funded by several organizations including but not limited to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Microsoft, Intel Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, Iomega and MIT Media Lab research consortia. Scratch allows you to crate your own animated games, art and stories.

 

To learn more about Scratch, access the site and create an account visit:

https://scratch.mit.edu/

 

Below you will find a list of resources and tutorials that you may find helpful:

https://scratch.mit.edu/help/

 

Scratch reference cards: https://scratch.mit.edu/info/cards/

Scratch video tutorials: https://scratch.mit.edu/help/videos/

Scratch starter projects: https://scratch.mit.edu/starter_projects/

 

Scratch Lesson Plans:

http://wiki.classroom20.com/Scratch+Lesson+Plans

https://www.scribd.com/document/8028928/Scratch-Lessons

http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/guide/

http://technologypainting.com/

 

Additional Coding Resources:

 

Code Websites
Hour of Code https://code.org/
 
Code Apps
Scratch Jr.
Hopscotch
Kodable
Daizy the Dinosaur
Move the Turtle
Run Marco
Cargo-Bot
 
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