We were very honored to have nine esteemed professional docents at our recent STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Fair this past Friday.In addition to the projects displayed in front of our Library, the docents visited each and every classroom and enjoyed every minute of it! Many of the docents were in awe that our children, working in teams, could produce everything from bubbles to rockets in an elementary setting. These professionals were amazed at the breath of concepts that were entertained and developed by our students. And sincere thanks to Bridget Vetterlein for designing our very own PHS STEM logo.
In the science component of our STEM Fair, Wendy Nguyen worked with the Kindergarten and First Grade students where the children shared their knowledge using hands-on presentations. “The Kindergarteners enjoyed acting out the various parts of the life cycle of a butterfly, performing for docents, parents, and fellow students each stage of metamorphosis. The First Graders did a long term experiment with germinating seeds. They planted lettuce and sunflower seeds in both our outdoor garden and in a greenhouse environment. They watered, measured growth, and took the air temperature in each location and concluded that the greenhouse enabled the seeds to germinate quicker!”
Kathy Mallon worked with Grades Two through Six in science and engineering experiments. “These were age appropriate team projects, enabling the children to work through the scientific method, use project management skills, analyze data, and prove or disprove their hypotheses. For example, the Third Graders used a sprinkler valve to build a compressed air rocket launcher sending their individual rockets 200 feet in the air while testing and recording the efficiency of various rocket designs. The Fifth Graders designed Newton Boards, employing Newton’s laws of motion to build a path that would take the steel ball the longest amount of time to travel the course. Second Graders explored ‘Marvelous Magnets’ and the Fourth Grade did an amazing project recycling PHS lunch refuse.”
“The Sixth Graders, nearing the conclusion of their education at PHS, decided to ‘Show What We Know Before We Go.’ Each student in this grade chose three of their favorite science experiments from their years at PHS. Fellow students, docents, and parents saw them make slime, elephant toothpaste, high expansion foam, lemon clocks, lava lamps, and much, much more!”
In the tech portion of the Fair, Computer Teacher Stella Demis shared with visitors what the students have been working on this year including Second Graders beginning PowerPoint and First Graders taking photos of each other and incorporating these images in their Word documents. In addition, Sixth Graders are doing computer programming, and others are engaged in producing a newspaper and doing video editing. There were also displays in the Science Lab of Apple TV, iPads, and an iPhone capturing images from a microscope.
In the MATH portion of our STEM Fair, each math class (and we have eleven separate math classes at PHS, including the enrichment classes) created a display showing a particular project or math concept. Our Math Enrichment teachers, Helen Metzler, assisted by Liz Lomeli, worked with each homeroom teacher and with their own math classes. One project that was created by some off Liz’s students used the Google program “SketchUp” to design their own city, which they displayed on a video screen as well as in tangible model form.
And to think that all of this is just a small peek at what our students are learning each day in science, technology, engineering, and math here at Peninsula Heritage School!