Elementary STEM Update and News:
STEM+ Camp and Expert Classes: Last summer's camps were very successful:The expansion increased the number of student campers, HS volunteers and teachers:
Students Volunteers Teachers
Elementary STEAM Camp 109 12 6
Intermediate STEAM Camp 59 17 4
3D Graphics 28 2 1
Model Rockets 16 3 1
iPhone App Development 14 2 1
226 36 13
Changes included offering a broader range of expert classes such as Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced robotics, Beginning and Advanced 3D graphics, for example.
A special emphasis will be on providing Girls Only STEM/Engineering classes either as expert classes or within the traditional camp setting.
Hiring practices for the teachers is now under revision and this Spring, teachers will be required to take at least one training session offered on Project Based learning or Robotics and sit an interview. Selection will be made by a committee.
Robotics Training and Classroom Implementation: Robotics has been our first true District-wide STEM deliverable that will change classroom instruction and student learning. Two significant events have led to this coordinated implementation: the Bainbridge Schools Foundation/Bainbridge Community Fund 10K grant to provide training and a robotics kit for one teacher from each elementary grade level per school and the Robotics Summit last spring, where district policy for platform and continuity were developed.
Presently, we have trained teachers in Grades 4 and 5 for a total of 11 teachers. We will complete the training in March. Meanwhile, a coordinated approach to writing and submitting BFS Innovation grants led to more than $34K of purchases for classroom sets of Lego Wedo Robots, EV3 Mindstorm Robots, Tetrix Robot enhancements and Lego Story Visualizer, a Lego writing program that combines robotics with storytelling. Hundreds of students will experience robots this year!
The robotics program will culminate with a visit from Paulo Younse, JPL engineer who helped develop the Mars rover, Curiosity. Mr. Younse will meet with all school students in the district and demonstrate a small robotic rover.
Phase II of this program will occur next year with a similar training pattern and follow up training opportunities for teachers with class sets as well as another round of grants for class sets of robots.