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STEM Blog

STEM Family Night

This Tuesday night we are hosting our second STEM Family Night from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM in the school gymnasium. Come out and see new presentations by Eric Energy, and US Open Robotics, and enjoy some hands-on activities for all ages. This night is open to ALL of our school families and is free of charge! A big thank you to our event sponsors: Eric Energy, USOpen Robotics, Discovery Education, Science Channel and the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

Hour of Code

Today’s interconnected technological world is built on computer software. Next week, during Computer Science Education Week, Code.org is sponsoring an Hour of Code where students will gain a basic understanding of the underlying software that drives our modern world. As part of the St. Louis School technology curriculum, students are preparing to participate in this global event by viewing the introductory videos and exploring the building blocks of software construction. These preparations are in addition to the existing classroom instruction and our after school CyberSTEM program. To learn more visit: http://csedweek.org/

Run, Run, Run as fast as you can!

This week our Pre-K students read the Gingerbread Man, using this fun children's book to learn math, language arts, and STEM lessons along the way. The kids are having so much fun! They rolled-out, “baked” and decorated gingerbread cookies on the iPad, acted out the story with masks in dramatic play, and even learned the song “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” in Spanish, introducing them to the color "café". The students decided what part of a Gingerbread cookie they would eat first and then graphed the results in Math, laced their own Gingerbread Man to exercise their fine motor skills, and made a Gingerbread Jail -- because apparently the Gingerbread men are trying to escape! Today the students made Gingerbread traps in their STEM lesson, brainstorming and collaborating in groups to keep the Gingerbread men in the classroom overnight and suggesting that the teacher sleep at school to stand guard! Stay tuned...

USA Science and Engineering Festival Nifty Fifty Speaker

What a fantastic afternoon we had as Dr. Dana Perkins visited and spoke to our students about her career as a microbiologist and advisor to the UN Security Council. From an early age, Dr. Perkins was fascinated with infectious diseases and persued her interest with a passion! Her message to the children was to keep learning and to love what you do. The students asked what inspired her and she gave them something to think about: Star Trek! ... "Go bodly to where no one has gone before". In her work with the UN, Dr. Perkins advises on the containment of chemical and biological agents, with the first priority of saving lives. She is proud of her work and rightly so! We were thrilled to have her speak to our students and thank her for sharing her time with us!

Cyber STEM Fall Session

The fall Cyber STEM session 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 Microworlds and Scratch! A special thank you to our Faculty Cyber STEM Gurus: Ms. Fries, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Vicendese and Mrs. Whiteford for making this program a continued success.

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!

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