UNION — STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, four educational disciplines whose importance continues to grow in today’s — and tomorrow’s — world where competitiveness and technological development are vital to the economic success of communities and nations.
It’s a serious subject, so serious in fact that STEM learning must begin early, in elementary school, and that’s what’s happening at Foster Park Elementary School where students are learning about the serious subject of STEM — and having fun in the process.
In two press releases issued last week, FPES Principal Jason Koepke spoke about how two classes at the school enjoyed some “STEM Fun!” that was not only fun but educational.
Koepke said that students in Mrs. Roark’s 3rd grade class were challenged to use teamwork and cooperation to build a paper chain. Each group was only allowed to use one piece of construction paper to see which group could create the longest paper chain. Students were so excited to work together to complete this challenge.
Afterwards, Koepke said the students moved into the hallway to compare their paper chains and discuss each group’s strategy. He said Mrs. Roark’s students are eager to complete this challenge again soon to see if they can improve their chains.
Kopeke said that to introduce them to STEM, the students in Mrs. Wells’ 4th grade class were challenged to use teamwork and cooperation to build a standing structure using just pipe cleaners and straws. He said the students were excited to demonstrate their creativity and engineering skills and that two groups were successful with their standing structures.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Science Fun
Literature can also inspire an interest in science and that’s what happened in the case of the students in a class at FPES.
In a press release describing this, Koepke said that the students in Mrs. Kingsmore’s 5K class had so much fun making observations with a real coconut using their five senses. He said this was such a fun way to practice their science skills after reading a kindergarten favorite, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault.