We are excited to have Project Lead the Way (STEM initiative) in full swing at St. Therese. The students love the new projects, problem-solving activities and hands-on learning they are getting to experience!
STEM Curriculum by grade
Kindergarten learns about Structure and Function. They identify common objects and their functions. They read Jack and The Beanstalk and The Three Little Pigs then discuss the function of the structures in each story. The final step is to build a structure of their own that can withstand various forces.
First grade explores Light and Sound. Students are introduced to the problem with a story about three different characters on a hike. They explore different lights and sounds and make a model of something that helps the group to communicate (using light and sound), finally they evaluate and explain their model.
Second grade explores Properties of Matter. In this exploration they investigate and classify different kinds of materials. Students apply their knowledge and skills to design a container that will keep ice pops frozen during an outdoor event. No ice allowed!
Third grade examines Variations of Traits, a unit on genetics. Students investigate the differences between inherited genetic traits and traits that are learned or influenced by the environment. Students apply their knowledge and skills to predict genetic outcomes of plants grown in class.
Fourth grade investigates Energy and Collisions. They work in teams using Vex™ materials to build vehicles they send down a ramp to crash into each other. The students learn about potential and kinetic energy, elastic and inelastic collisions, and speed of an object. Students also find out what happens during the collisions when mass is added to the vehicles. The culminating activity is to design a vehicle that can safely carry an egg down a ramp and into a wall without the egg cracking.
5th, 6th, 7th & 8th Grade
Fifth and sixth grade, as well as seventh and eighth grade elective students, explore Robotics and Automation. Student exploration of robotics includes ways robots are used in today's world and the impact of their use on society and the environment. They learn about a variety of robotic components as they build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely. The students apply their knowledge and skills to build a robot that can be used in a real world situation that is too hazardous for humans.
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