Our state-of-the-art STEM lab, used by all TK (Transitional Kindergarten) – 8th grade students, serves to enhance the STEM education which is going on in our Elementary and Jr. High classrooms.
At every grade level, students work through units in computer application, digital citizenship, coding, and/or engineering. Many of the units span weeks to months, and incorporate project-based learning. According to Jenn Darling, TK – 8 Curriculum Director, having a designated STEM lab and teaching time provides students with the opportunity to work toward real-world solutions in a whole new way. “What real-life problems are you able to solve in 50 minutes?” asked Mrs. Darling. “Our students work toward solutions over the course of a few days to several weeks, at an age-specific rate.”
“We have created a STEM Lab where our students can develop and improve 21st-century skills such as collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills,” said Barb Shaw, TK – 8th grade STEM Applications Teacher and Adviser. “Our students learn together in a safe environment and experience the wonder of the world God created.”
Faculty use a number of STEM curricula and supplemental resources in their instruction, including VEX IQ©, LEGO WeDo©, Sphero Robots© and Merge Cubes©. SVC is also part of a select group of schools certified to use the Project Lead the Way© (PLTW) curriculum. (For additional information about this outstanding program, click here.)
Recent additions to the program include some exciting applications in Jr. High — allowing students to build computers with Raspberry Pi©, and take their coding skills to new heights as they program Parrot Mambo Drones©. In Elementary, student interaction with robotics has been enhanced by the addition of Cubelets© robots. Every TK – 6th grade student experiences robotics with this tool at age-appropriate levels. Learn more about Cubelets© robots in this short video: https://youtu.be/4EDsLayRKQA.
“We continue to find ways to encourage engagement, and critical thinking in our STEM Lab,” said Mrs. Shaw.