Students from Atlanta Elementary School participated in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) camp. This year’s theme centered on Creating. Students attended camp daily for one week, where each day they visited four different stations. The students then presented many of their products created during the week to family and friends at the conclusion showcase on Friday afternoon. They had a host of team building activities as well as four modules, which included Imagination Point: Ride Physics activities, Saving Sludge City activities, Problem Solving on Planet ZAK activities and Robotic exploration.
Students learned a little history and then used higher order thinking skills to create tools, devise plans, and reverse engineer to solve real world problems as a team. It was a week of hands-on fun activities each day.
STEM Students Build Roller Coaster
Loree Saffel directed the Imagination Point: Ride Physics activities. The students virtually traveled to theme parks across America. Then they were “commissioned” to create a new roller coaster! Students demonstrated Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion in the several activities including putting a coaster on display in the AES theme parks.
Exploring New Planets and Saving the Environment
Director of Problem Solving on Planet ZAK, Brittany Hall simulated a crash landing on a distant planet where students had to problem solve to survive. Their mission became building shelters and clothing for protection while devising a spaceship to get them home. The launch and flight to “Earth” proved challenging but the mission was successful!
The Saving Sludge City module had “city engineers” develop ways to protect the city from the pollutants that were already destroying ground water and the environment. Rebuilding the city was the only way. They watched a new city rise from the rubble and became a Green City! Eco friendly transportation, water filtration, and no more pollutants were allowed. That helped revitalize the cities! Director, Tammi Clements led this team.
STEM Fun with Robotics
Students had the opportunity to engineer robots using Lego robotic kits. Coding the old and new generation lego bricks began the very 1st day. Students were able to choose a robot to build from several types. Reading wordless building instructions (pictures only) is not as easy as it seems. Programming downloads were made as early as Wednesday to completed robots. Students added code to personalize their base program. Designing their robot platform/outfit also added a personal touch. The students successfully built robots and demonstrated their skills for their family and friends at the showcase on Friday afternoon. Demonstrations and explanations were also videoed with the help of former STEM camp members. AES is thankful for the support of AISD administration and school board and the parents and students that participated in the camp. Teamwork was evident in everything from crazy camp looks each day, to problem solving and creating to completing each task assigned. Volunteers, former STEM participants, Riley Halford and Caitlyn Morris, offered their time and expertise to the students and staff throughout the week. Though their main assignments were robotics for Morris and photography for Halford, they did a variety of things to help make the week successful.
The students brought excitement to learning in innovative and creative ways. Descriptions from students and parents about this week included fun, exciting, amazing, fabulous, educational, and always a favorite, extreme learning. Developing collaboration and creativity skills is a requirement for the future generation. They will be charged with solving the world’s problems. This camps purpose is to develop these skills so students can play an integral role in solving any problem they encounter in a global society.