STEM Blog

Where will your daughter be in ten years?

Today Sixth Grade girls from St. Louis participated in the Cool Careers for Girls Symposium at the University of Maryland in College Park. Students met women professionals in cyber security, learned about possible career paths and participated in hands-on activities covering cryptography, computer forensics, programming, systems engineering and computer security. St. Louis is committed to providing these types of opportunities for students; to spark interests, discover talents, and show options for each child’s future. The event was made possible through a partnership between the Educational Technology Policy, Research and Outreach (ETPRO), the National CyberWatch Center, the University of Maryland and Lockheed-Martin. Cool Careers for Girls is intended to help young women explore careers in STEM fields by introducing them to small group presentations and hands-on projects with women professionals. View the Lockheed Martin press release: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/november/isgs-cybercareers-111213.html

Cyber STEM students improve their computer coding skills!

St. Louis CyberSTEM students continue to improve their computer coding skills and are working hard to develop animated stories and games using an engaging, interactive software tool called Microworlds. Through our partnerships with Educational Technology Policy Research and Outreach (ETPRO, which originated at the University of Maryland) and Cyberwatch K-12, CyberSTEM students gain a hands-on understanding of the tools of tomorrow, with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Dia de los Muertos

Traditional Spanish culture honors ancestors and family history. In Mexico, families observe "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) at the beginning of November. During this commemoration of life and love, families gather together to celebrate the life of deceased family members and friends. It is a happy, colorful and cheerful time when families build decorated "altars" honoring the deceased. These altars are decorated with food, photographs, bright colorful paper "papel picado" and skulls made of sugar. Students in the Third Grade Spanish class painted and created skull masks to celebrate this cultural tradition.

Communicating with Art

Deaf people in the United States communicate with American Sign Language (ASL). Ms.d'Epagnier Seventh Grade Art students practiced their observational drawing skills with these ASL hands. They drew first and last name initials. Can you tell who created each one?

Technology brings us together in Prayer.

Catholic Schools are a worldwide community of faith. Today St. Stephens School in Grand Rapids, Michigan became part of our local community as we shared the sights and sounds of our classroom with them. Using a technology tool called Skype, the second graders enjoyed teaching Mrs. Harju’s students the Spanish version of the Hail Mary and were proud to see them do such a great job. We shared some of our interests and finished our session by playing our Las Formas (Shapes) card game together. We look forward to another virtual visit with them again real soon! Take a look at Mrs. Harju’s blog to learn more about their eperience. http://harju.edublogs.org/2013/10/22/skype-chat-with-friends-in-maryland/

Nurturing the Spirit and Mind so we can all Rejoice!

Not all learning happens in the classroom, and not all of the FUN happens there, either! At St. Louis School we provide our students with extracurricular activities that nurture their “ Sprit & Mind” ~ so that they Rejoice! Last week we held our first meeting of our fall Club offerings. Design & Build, CyberSTEM, and Chess Club intrigues our deep thinkers and future engineers, and Art Club, Chorus and Band nurture our more creative thinkers.

Using Technology to Teach Spanish Across the Country

Our 2nd grade students had a wonderful opportunity to meet other 2nd graders and teach Spanish across the country. After learning vocabulary words for parts of the body, our students Skyped with students in Mrs. Lykowski's 2nd grade class at Monroe Road Elementary School in Michigan. The students talked about where their schools are, what the weather was like, and their school mascots. Then they got down to the real FUN! Substituting Spanish for English, our students sang "Head, and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" or "Cabeza, Hombros, Rodilla y Pie"! The giggles took over for a time, but we think it was a wonderful experience and we are looking forward to doing it again!

Young Meteorologist Program

We recently had a very exciting and early morning at SLS as WBAL's Ava Marie joined Mrs. Mary Fairbanks and Katie Collins Garrett, NOAA meteorologist sand Owlie Skywarn to teach our students about weather preparedness. This is an especially important cause to St. Louis, as it is the 12th anniversary of the College Park tornado that tragically took the lives of two of our beloved students. We can all use reminders how prepare for and to safely anticipate dangerous weather conditions, and we were thrilled to have this opportunity to spread the word. You too, can become a weather expert by participating in the Young Meteorologist Program, a free computer game that educates children in grades K-8 about the importance of severe weather preparedness. Go to http://www.youngmeteorologist.org/ for more information. Thank you to all of our guests, and to our students and parents for making this such a valuable experience!

DC Metro Area Maker Faire

Calling all the St. Louis Creative Minds! “Robots, electric go-karts, interactive art, flying machines, and so much more to see and do –KID Museum is hosting the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire on Sunday, September 29th at Veteran’s Plaza and Great Hall in Silver Spring, from 12:00-5:00p.m. The Maker Faire features free family activities, two performance stages, and innovative projects created by inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. The festival highlights creative and unusual projects, and invites people of all ages to explore their own curiosity while making something new.” For more information visit http://makerfairesilverspring.com/

Frog and Fish dissection in Seventh Grade Science Class

Assisted by our Seminarian Matt, Seventh Graders finished out the year learning about aquatic anatomy.

Creating simple machines

One of the goals of STEM education is to provide students with an understanding of the underlying principles behind everyday experiences. In Mrs. Vicendese’s Third Grade Science class, our budding engineers gained a hands-on understanding of simple machines using Lego WeDo Robotic kits. Students worked in groups of four to build and program their design for a simple machine. Each design incorporated a repeating motion and a sound effect appropriate to the observable motion. The exercise culminates with a Language Arts assignment in which each group writes a story involving their design and presents it to the rest of the class. The creative designs included a drumming monkey, a hungry alligator, dancing birds, an airplane rescue, a sailboat in a storm and a roaring lion.

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