STEM Blog

Discovery Education's Spring VirtCon

This weekend, Discovery Education hosted Spring VirtCon 2015, a live-streaming event of presentations by innovative educators who shared classroom strategies around the creation of authentic work, methods of collaboration, and the benefits of reflecting upon and celebrating that work. So happy and proud to give a shout-out to one of our exceptional teachers, Mrs. Zulma Whiteford, who was a presenter on the topic of “Building Community Through Creativity”. Mrs. Whiteford spoke on infusing creativity in the classroom in order to create environments that transcend geographic limitations and provide spaces for students to create, make mistakes, collaborate and solve problems. We are grateful for her enthusiastic participation and leadership! To see her presentation, forward to 4:23:13 http://www.discoveryeducation.com/springvirtcon2015/index.cfm

Do You Google?

Today we had the distinct pleasure to welcome Google software engineer Kitt Vanderwater to speak to our middle-school students through the USA Science & Engineering Festival Nifty Fifty Program. This impressive young woman spoke about the wonderful opportunities she has had as a software engineer and her road to success. She inspired our students to believe that they can do it too!

Ms. Vanderwater credits her success to her supportive family and a childhood teacher who made math fun for her - igniting a passion for math and technology. Some surprises she shared with us: Coding is NOT boring. She has traveled to Paris to study art in connection with her work on Google's "Backdrop" project, she met Emma Stone, one of her favorite actresses, while working on a video project, and one of her favorite things about working at Google is the free fro-yo!

Ms. Vanderwater is a very impressive young woman, and we are grateful to the USA Science & Engineering Festival for this fantastic learning opportunity for our students.

The ‘Nifty Fifty’, is a group of 200 noted science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, DC area in the 2014/2015 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. Featuring some of the most inspiring role models in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, this signature program of the USA Science and Engineering Festival presents students with the latest in green technology, engineering, human health and medicine, astronomy and space exploration, nanotechnology, computer science, and more.

Do you Measure Up?

Mrs. Coyle's 1st grade students took a fun approach to their math lesson on "units" of measure. Using colored straws, they took turns measuring how tall each of them is, and convinced Ms. Kemp to join in the fun. They ended with a little dance session to get the "giggles" out before returning to the classroom. Thanks, Mrs. Coyle - it was fun!

Creative Design Challenge

St. Louis School Pre-Engineering Club, under the direction of Mrs. Eileen Markert, recently completed the design and construction of visually and functionally creative model homes. From a solar powered home shaped like a flower to a three-story light house to a icosahedron (a 20-sided polyhedron) balanced in a vertex, each of the students worked diligently to create and explain his or her creation.

Jr. FLL Think Tank Challenge!

Our Junior First LEGO League (FLL) team of Third Grade future engineers has been hard at work brainstorming, planning, collaborating and designing their project. They will be showcasing their work at the Junior FLL Event on May 3rd at the Miller Branch Library in Ellicott City.

Hands-on Science

Mrs. Rose's Sixth Grade Science class students emulated the Greek Scientist Eratosthenes in calculating the circumference of a sphere. Eratosthenes did it for the Earth while our students used more manageable spheres like basketballs and volleyballs. Students measured the length of the shadows cast from small stakes and used mathematics to determine the circumference of the spheres. The Sixth Grade students enjoyed the hands on experiment, which gave them a deeper understanding of the concept.

Girl Power at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

 You are invited to the Girl Power event scheduled for March 8 from 2-5 PM here at JHU APL.  The event is for middle and high school girls to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities and interactive presentations.  Girl Power is free and no registration is required.

Third Annual STEM Family Night!

Proving that science is FUN, we rolled out our 3rd Annual STEM night for our parents and students on Tuesday evening. Our three First Lego League (FLL) robotics teams began the evening with demonstrations, and then Eric Energy took the floor for a fun and engaging presentation. Before we sent everyone home, the students were challenged to various make-and-take activities and challenges in the classrooms. Thank you to our parent and student volunteers and to our faculty and staff members who helped to make the evening a tremendous success. Special thank you to Mrs. Whiteford who coordinated a splendid STEM Family Night for our school community!

Teamwork is the Key!

St. Louis School would like to congratulate the members of the Positive Pi People and Octo-Pi teams for participating in the First Lego League (FLL) competition at Anne Arundel Community College on Saturday, January 24th. In addition, the Positive Pi team won a trophy for best core values, great teamwork and cooperation! We are very proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment shown by both teams. We look forward to hearing great things about the Octo-Pi team members as they move on to High School and can’t wait to see what the Positive-Pi team members come up with next year. Way to Go Knights!

 

We would also like to express our deep appreciation to the time and energy our volunteers gave to make this day possible.

 

Come see their demonstration at the STEM Family Fun Night on January 27th.

Metal, Nonmetal or Metalloid?

On Friday, Mrs. Riggin’s Fifth Grade Science students received advanced instruction from Mrs. Beth Czyryca, a St. Louis parent and Mt. St. Joseph High School Chemistry teacher. Mrs. Cryryca and her son Chris (a SLS alumnus) led the students in an experiment where they investigated the chemical and physical properties of seven elements.  The students used this information to classify the elements as metal, nonmetal or metalloid.  Students were able to observe color and luster, test for malleability and conductivity, and observe chemical reactivity.  Our future chemists look forward to the next opportunity for experimentation.

Programmed for Success

Our first team, “Mission Possible,” competed this past Saturday at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) Kossiakoff Center and did a wonderful job representing our school. The members of Mission Possible are: Gabriel Ewachiw, Rachel Kaschak, Ben Kopec, Nick Kopec, Jacob Langsdale, Jessica Langsdale, Amanda Liceaga, Javier Liceaga, and Andrew Mulcahy. We are very proud of these students, and we are truly grateful to their extraordinary volunteer coaches, Mrs. Liceaga and Mrs. Langsdale, who gave many hours and shared their expertise to guide the team.

 

Our other two teams will be competing on Saturday, January 24th at Anne Arundel Community College. More details about that competition will be forthcoming.

3rd Annual STEM Family Fun Night

As part of our Catholic Schools Week celebration, all parents and students are invited to attend the third annual St. Louis School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Family Fun night. Come visit us in the Cafeteria on Tuesday, January 27th from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

The event is open to all school families and will consist of a one-hour presentation by Eric Energy followed by an age appropriate STEM activity in the classroom. We encourage you to attend and look forward to seeing you there! For more information visit our STEM blog at www.stem.stlouisparish.org.

As a bonus for early birds, the doors will open at 6:30 P.M., when you will be able to see a robotics demonstration from one of our three First Lego League (FLL) Robotics teams.

Mrs. Whiteford is also looking for STAND certified parent volunteers to help run a simple (30 minute commitment) STEM activity in the classroom. Please sign up using the Volunteer Spot link below.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/n1mtYK
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up!

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