The Hour of Code is Here!

For the past few years, students at St. Louis School have had the opportunity to learn problem-solving skills and logical thinking by sharpening their coding skills in the classroom. As part of our standard curriculum, students are exposed to a variety of coding platforms and have the opportunity to experience the underlying mechanisms of how software technology works. This past week we celebrated with students from across the world by once again participating in “Hour of Code,” sponsored by To learn more about this event and the power of learning to code, visit:

Decoding STEM

Today our Cyber STEM group 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 lead 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:

Third Grade Physics

Using books, a toy car, a cardboard ramp and a tennis ball, third grade students explored the concepts of force and motion, measuring the distances traveled when different forces were applied. (Some students were more forceful than others!) We learned so much through this fun experiment and can’t wait to try something new!

Wind, Fire and Science!

On Wednesday, our Eighth Grade boys used fire, tape and a lot of ingenuity to solve a series of team challenges at during Science Day at Mount Saint Joseph High School. In a Chemistry Lab, the boys used a Bunsen burner to cook a number of metallic salts and identify each sample by the resulting flame color. In a Physics Lab, two teams successfully constructed a bridge capable of holding 100 glass marbles using just six manila folders and one meter of duct tape. The final challenge in an Environmental Science Lab involved the design of a wind-driven turbine that could generate electricity. One of our teams designed the most efficient turbine of the day!

3D Printing at St. Louis School

Say Hello to SLS Cube our first 3-D printer provided by a grant from the Archdiocese of Baltimore!

Forces in Motion!

Physics has many fun real-world applications, including how amusement park rollercoasters can scare you while still remaining safe. Today our Eighth Grade girls had the opportunity to build rollercoasters in miniature and test them with our Second Grade audience. They employed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) knowledge and tools to create functional rollercoasters made of cardstock, tape and marbles. Who knew that engineering could be so much fun?

Massive Motion!

Today some of our 8th grade students completed a Discovery Education Lab called Massive Motion. We challenged them to design and carry out an experiment to determine if mass affects the average rate of fall of an object due to gravity. Using wiffle balls, tennis balls and balls made of clay, the students dropped them from various heights comparing their rate of fall. Power Point and Google Slide projects are next so that each group can communicate their findings! Best of all -- We had a TON of fun!!!

LEGOS for all ages!

We are now in our sixth week of school and settled into our routines. Eighth graders have discovered a new way to express their three-dimensional creativity and engineering skills during homeroom using the classroom’s LEGO board. We look forward to seeing their fantastic results over the course of the year!

DEN Ambassadors

While our students have a day off from school, our dedicated teachers spent the day collaborating and learning as part of the DEN Ambassador Program.  They explored the SOS Strategies and the flipped classroom then broke into groups to put them to the test.  It was an awesome day and we look forward to the next DEN Ambassador training!



3rd Howard County STEM Festival

Thank you for visiting our booth at the Howard County STEM Festival. We hope you enjoyed our display and activities and that you will stop back to visit our blog often. Click on the St. Louis logo on the upper left hand corner of the page to learn more about our school.



The instructions to build our "give aways" are below:

What's in the Bag?

This project is designed to embrace the Maker movement and inspire creativity. Students are asked to create a character with the items included in the bag. They are then encouraged to write a short story with their creation as the main character. The stories are read and recorded using the App and a picture of their creation.



Catapult Instructions

1.Stack 7 popsicle sticks together and wrap a rubber band around each end
2.Stack 2 popsicle sticks together and wrap a rubber band around one end
3.Slide the bundle of 7 sticks between the 2 sticks
4.Place a rubber band in an ‘X’ shape around the middle of the 2 sticks
5.Attach a spoon to the top popsicle stick with another rubber band
6.Test and have fun!
Additional Coding Resources
Interested in some coding resources? Below is a list of some of the sites and Apps used at St. Louis School. 
Code Websites
Code Academy
Code Monkey
Hour of Code
Code Apps
Scratch Jr.
Daizy the Dinosaur
Move the Turtle
Run Marco


Reach for the Sky!

What are the engineering concepts behind the tallest building in the world? How was the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai designed to achieve its height and current status as the world’s tallest building? Seventh Grade students at St. Louis School had the opportunity to investigate these concepts under the guidance of Mt. St. Joseph High School (MSJ) students and Mrs. Beth Czyryka, a SLS parent and MSJ Chemistry teacher. The students were challenged to plan and design a structure that would simultaneously be as tall as possible, stand freely and hold a tennis ball for 30 seconds. The students were organized into teams, and each team received five manila folders and a meter of duct tape to complete the challenge. At the conclusion of the challenge it was clear that the successful structures resembled the designs of tall buildings in the real world. We want to thank Mt. St. Joseph High School and Mrs. Czyryka in particular for her continued support of the SLS Science and STEM program.

Jr. FLL Think Tank Challenge!

St. Louis School is proud to have been part of the Jr. First LEGO League (FLL) 2014 THINK TANK Challenge, together with over 26,000 children ages 6 to 9 from 14 countries. Our team of third and first graders showcased their project and hard work at the Miller Branch Library EXPO on May 3rd and participated in a variety of STEM-related activities throughout the afternoon. We congratulate the team members on their success and thank the parent volunteers for making it possible. Way to go KNIGHTS!