STEM Blog

STEM Family Fun Night

As part of our Catholic Schools Week celebration, parents and students are invited to attend the first St. Louis School Family STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Night. Come visit us in the Gym on Tuesday, January 29th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, participate in several demonstrations and learn more about the STEM program now underway.  The event is open to all school families and will consist of a one-hour presentation by Eric Energy followed by rotating breakout sessions from Marbles the Brain Store and Domino-toppling demonstrations by SLS parent Mr. Scott Suko. We encourage you to attend and look forward to seeing you there. For more information visit our STEM blog at stem.stlouisparish.org.

Hidden secrets of soda

Today in Health class, our Fifth Graders used Math and Science to reveal secrets about two popular soft drinks. Using a float tank and an understanding of density, we determined that a can of Diet Coke was more buoyant than a can of regular Coke. We hypothesized that the high fructose syrup content in regular Coke is either more dense or is present in higher quantity than the corresponding artificial sweetener in Diet Coke.  We recognized that neither soda is desirable to drink; we prefer water.

First Grade Problem Solving

After reading a story called The Gingerbread Boy, SLS First Graders were challenged by Mrs. Aumiller to come up with a solution that would allow a gingerbread boy to play in the water without dissolving.  They have reviewed the engineering design process, received their partner assignments, and have $10 dough dollars to purchase materials from the school store. Stay tuned to see what they come up with!

First Grade Engineers

Tape, wax paper, rubber bands? Stay tuned to find out what Mrs. Aumiller’s First Grade engineers are up to now!

Designing and Animating with Scratch

A core component of STEM education is allowing the students to exercise creativity while problem solving.  Fourth Grade students at St. Louis School are using Scratch, a visual programming language designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to explore the relationship between logical thinking, problem solving and creativity. In the most recent exercise, students are designing and animating a clown fish using the tools built into Scratch. To learn more about Scratch visit: http://scratch.mit.edu/

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

 

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