Loudoun County, Va. (August 13, 2014) – More than 100 students learned the cool side of STEM (science, math, engineering and technology) from June 30 to July 25, at Rolling Ridge Elementary.
116 Rolling Ride students worked with 15 teachers from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. each day to increase their STEM knowledge through challenging activities. Among the tasks they accomplished were:
- Fifth-graders created a kicking machine which would kick a ping pong ball into a cup at different distances.
- Third-graders built a roller coaster with a ramp, hills, and loops.
- Fourth-graders were tasked with building a solar oven out of pizza boxes, construction paper, aluminum foil and packing peanuts to melt crayons.
- Second-graders studied trees and had to design a model of a tree house that would fit in a specific type of tree.
- Everyone enjoyed the ever-popular rocket lesson.
The idea behind the camp was to get students to become better problem-solvers. STEM is a way of teaching concepts through hands-on activities where the students guide the problem-solving instead of the teacher telling them how to solve the problem. The results are students who know how to apply math and reading skills to real-world problems.
The activities required students to work with a team to come up with unique solutions to a question asked by the teacher. The teacher supplied the background information, the supplies, the time and the goal. It is up to the students to use what they know and to ask the important questions to engineer a final product.