STEM Blog

Design and Build Lego Club

St. Louis School offers a "Design and Build" club for students in First through Fourth Grade.  The students work independently or in groups to express their engineering creativity and natural desire to build.  A variety of Lego kits provide an opportunity for our future engineers toengage in critical thinking, collaboration, team work, and problem-solving as they assemble their designs.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Math Competition

Our 8th grade Math Team placed first out of 14 local schools in the Annual Good Counsel High School Mathematics Competition! Our team members competed against 84 other students, and three of our students finished in the top 10! Congratulations to all of our team members and a special thanks and congratulations to Mrs. Eileen Markert for doing such a great job of preparing our students and leading the way.

Cyber STEM

The fall session of our Cyber STEM program culminated with a presentation of the student’s work to parents and to Dr. Davina Pruitt-Mentle, a leading academic in STEM education from the University of Maryland. Each student was presented with a certificate recognizing his or her completion of the semester. We look forward to the Spring Cyber STEM session. In the meantime, keep programming with Scratch! A special thank you to our Faculty Cyber STEM Gurus: Ms. Fries, Mrs. Markert, Mrs. McGowan, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Vicendese and Mrs. Whiteford for making the program a success.

PreK Spanish Centers

In Spanish class, Pre K children are reviewing their primary colors and numbers in Spanish by rotating through three centers. The focus is on the primary colors in Spanish and the numbers, only one to three at this introductory level. Not only are they learning Spanish by rotating through the three centers, but they are developing a variety of additional skills in each center. An added benefit is that they stay busy and engaged while rotating from one Center to the next. By playing a Color lotto game, they are developing their sorting, counting, color recognition and beginning word recognition skills in Spanish.

Second Grade Zooms!

Grade 2A started a new reading unit in the Middle of November. It is called Zoom In. They “zoomed in” on pond life over 3 different class periods. First they made a KWL chart on Mimio of what they knew about ponds and what they might like to find out. Next, Mrs. Goudreau read a Big Book Around the Pond: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barret George. The class finished the KWL chart to include what they had learned about pond life. Finally, the class then made a chart of all the animals that would be found in a pond.

 

The next day, the class watched another pond story on Discovery Streaming called In the Small, Small, Pond. We added a few more pond animals to our list. The class then divided up into groups of two with randomly assigned partners. Each partner group chose an animal from the list. Mrs. Goudreau had made a mural out of white chart paper, and had put a blue pond and a blue sky on it. Each group make their own animals out of construction paper. They then wrote a sentence about the animal. Mrs. Smith assisted students at the student computers to look at pictures of their animals. Mrs. Goudreau had a web site on the Mimio board and lots of books from the school library. She assisted students in obtaining information about their animal. They then pasted their animals on the mural.

 

One group read a scholastic Mini- Printable book Who lives in the Pond? They cut out different animals from that book, colored them and pasted them to the mural.

 

On the final day, the class made a list of all the trees, plants and other animal life that should be included in the mural. In small groups, during Reading time, each student made one more thing to complete the mural. We had fun learning about pond life. It was truly a group effort!

Outsmarting the Big Bad Wolf with a little help from STEM

Students in Mrs. Aumiller's class participated in a transdisciplinary unit of study where they incorporated a wide variety of content areas and stressed the relevance of one subject to the next. They used Language Arts (fairy tales) to learn about engineering basics. The unit placed emphasis on some of the basic elements of the engineering method:brainstorming, planning, creating, modifying and team problem solving.

In this unit, the students designed and tested a model house for the Fourth Little Piggie, cousin to the three little piggies of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.

Cool Careers for Girls Symposium

Our sixth grade girls recently attended the annual Cool Careers in Cyber Security Summit at University of Maryland. The purpose of the event was to introduce Middle School girls to potential careers in cyber security, information assurance,...
and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career paths. From digital forensics to computer assembly, our students learned all about cyber security from the professionals and female role models.

To view the television footage of the event, click on the link below:
http://tinyurl.com/cftqjcs

 

Fifth Grade Weaving Project

n Art class, Fifth Graders continued to work on their weaving project, which began by looking at traditional examples from the Zapotec tribe of Mexico. Using the ...

geometric designs of the Zapotec as inspiration,
students created a symmetrical design for their own weavings. They drew their designs on graph paper to ensure that the patterns were symmetrical. Just like a math test or a science experiment, the weaving process requires a lot of concentration and creative problem solving.
As they work, the Fifth Graders use critical thinking skills to identify problems and come up with solutions. We look forward to seeing the finished products!

Space Academy

 St. Louis School CyberSTEM (Grades 5-8) students attended Space Academy, an educational partnership between Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) and Discovery Education. We spent the day learning about the Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) and the Van Allen radiation belts that surround our planet. Our day began with a press conference held by several of the aerospace engineers and scientists who worked on the RBSP project. Students had an opportunity to listen to a panel presentation and ask questions about the project, outer space, and careers in science. We enjoyed a pizza lunch sponsored by Discovery Education and had the opportunity to continue our conversations with the presenters at our lunch tables. After lunch, we all dressed in our clean room suits and had the opportunity to tour the test facility for RBSP. We learned about the spacecraft assembly process, subassembly checkout and testing, and what it takes to put a spacecraft into orbit. We closed the day by thanking the presenters and were excited to discover we could take home our clean room suits! We are grateful to APL and Discovery Education for making possible such an interesting and educational day for our students

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