Second Graders Sail the World

Posted April 1, 2013

Oceans are a key part of the global economy.  Billions of dollars worth of merchandise travels on large container ships from ports around the world.  These ships are typically staffed by highly trained sailors called Merchant Marines.


David McGowan graduated from St Louis School in 2007 and is now in his second year at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Long Island, New York.  The four-year training program includes three trimesters of “hands on” at-sea training.  David was assigned to train on container ship APL Singapore from November through March, sailing from California to Japan and stopping at many ports.  He worked under the ship’s Captain and First Mate.


St Louis School Second Grade students used the website to track the location of the Singapore, learning map skills, the geography of the Pacific Basin, commercial shipping ports of call, and the Global Positioning System (GPS).


SLS student Ethan A. had the idea to build a model of the Singapore using Legos.  Students accessed the ship’s webpage at to discover basic facts and statistics about the vessel. Each student worked on the ship, building the hull to the proper scale and adding the “house” which includes the living space, engine rooms and bridge.  Containers were added to the model to show how cargo is transported.


Upon his return, David McGowan visited St Louis School and shared with the class his photographs, videos and experiences of life aboard the Singapore.

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Town Mouse or Country Mouse?

Posted April 1, 2013

Often our perception of the world depends on our point of view.  St Louis School Second Graders learned this concept through a series of lessons.

First, they read the story The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse retold by author Judy Nayer and then listened to a “Read Aloud” version of the story by Jan Brett. Using a visual tool called a Venn Diagram, students compared the two versions of the story to identify key elements and whether they are common to both or appear in only one version or the other.  Students then discussed the different elements of the story and why the same story, when retold, can be a little different each time.


After developing an understanding of story elements, each student made a puppet of either the Town Mouse or Country Mouse in Art Class. The students then worked in groups of 3 to 5 to express or retell the story in many different ways. One group made postcards using the Postpad Lite app and performed a Reader's Theatre. Two groups illustrated the story and retold it in their own words using the video capability of an iPad. Two groups of students wrote and put on puppet shows retelling the story. Finally, two groups wrote a version retelling the story from the cat's point of view. They also performed their version in a puppet show.


Listen to our story:



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It's Robot Conga Line Time!

Posted March 27, 2013

It’s Conga Line Time!

Our Middle School Cyber STEM students applied their engineering skills to program their robots to dance.

To view our first dance video click on the link below:

Are you a Good Egg?

Posted March 14, 2013

Mrs. McGowan’s second grade students joined students from all around the country on a virtual field trip to an egg farm courtesy of Discovery Education.  As part of this virtual event, participants had the opportunity to submit questions in advance.  We were thrilled when one of our student’s question was chosen to be read live.  To see the presentation click here and go to 7:02 to hear our question:


Watch Farm-To-Table Virtual Field Trip on @livestream:


To learn more about the Good Egg Project visit:

Artesanos de Méjico

Posted March 12, 2013

Discovery Education's digital content allows students to experience foreign countries and different cultures.  Today in Spanish class, second grade students learned about arts and crafts in Mexico and watched a Discovery Education video clip demonstrating the work of Mexican artisans.  The students concluded the lesson by weaving their own colorful paper Mexican rugs.  ¡Qué vivan los artesanos!

Does the shape of a bird's beak affect what he eats?

Posted March 6, 2013

How can rain shape the land? Does the shape of a bird’s beak affect what he eats? How are different living things affected by sound? These are some of the questions that were answered by our St. Louis scientists during this year’s Science Fair.  Students in Fourth, Sixth and Eight Grade followed the Scientific Method to ask a question, conduct research, develop a hypothesis, test it, analyze and report the results under the guidance of Ms. Fries, Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Markert. Congratulations to everyone on a job well done. These scientists have bright futures ahead!

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STEM in PE? Why Not?

Posted March 4, 2013

Have you ever considered how we incorporate STEM into our PE classes? Well, last week, our awesome PE teacher took a stab at it by groaning a STEM activity called "Building and Running Bobsleds". The classes were divided into groups, and each group was given 1 large mat and 4 scooters to design a "bobsled" that would support 2 riders. The groups had to determine the distribution of weight of their riders, as well as the strength of the bobsled pushers to make the "sleds" more efficient and faster. As you can imagine -- it was a fun activity and proved to the students that science can be FUN!


Drafting pencils give way to mouse and keyboard

Posted March 1, 2013

Sixth Grade students in Mrs. Whiteford’s computer class began using a software program called Google Sketchup that allows them to draw and manipulate virtual structures. Students learned to use the interactive tool to design a house and expect to extend those skills to other projects.

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Gazing the Nighttime Sky through the Discovery Channel Telescope

Posted February 26, 2013

Join us on this after-school encore presentation sure to capture your imagination and bring learning into your home. Grab a warm cup of hot chocolate and gather your family around your computer to tune into this live web broadcast of the evening sky. With exclusive access and control of the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), Director Jeffrey Hall and DCT Commissioning Scientist Stephen Levine will be navigating the telescope to the top-voted areas from the daytime broadcast. Images will be surreal. Pajamas are optional.

 Click here to register and learn more.

Claymation Studio

Posted February 23, 2013

For those fans of the classic animated characters Gumby and Pokey, students in Ms. d’Epagnier’d Sixth Grade Art class are following in the footsteps of their creator Art Clokey. The students have been working diligently to create sets and poseable figures and are using a technique called stop motion clay animation to create an animated story. Once photography is completed they will use JellyCam software in Computer class to create a final version of their story. Please be sure to check back to view the results!


Golfing Robots?

Posted February 21, 2013

The St. Louis School CyberSTEM team conitnue to make progress with their robots as they take the first step towards a golfing robot. St. Louis students in the afterschool CyberSTEM activity have been diligently programming their robots to operate in the real world.

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Robots Rule CyberSTEM!

Posted February 16, 2013

Our Spring CyberSTEM Robotics session is underway. Students (Grades 4 through 8) are building their robots and looking forward to begin programming them. Check back to see our progress