While fifth-grader Jaz Oder (L) uses Snap Circuits® to make a light bulb come on, fifth-grader Manuel Nunez (R) makes a fan spin into the air. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
While fifth-grader Jaz Oder (L) uses Snap Circuits® to make a light bulb come on, fifth-grader Manuel Nunez (R) makes a fan spin into the air. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
In the last four weeks, Warsaw students in STEM Summer School at Edgewood learned about programming and constructing robots and about biomedical and electrical engineering.
Wednesday morning, the fifth- through eighth-grade students demonstrated to family and friends the knowledge they acquired in the four sessions.
Science teacher David Borden said the students were taught four different curricula. In the first session, the first part was biomedical engineering with robotics in the second half. The second session included Lego® Mindstorms® EV3 robotics and Snap Circuits®.
Teaching the sessions were Borden, Courtney Thrasher, Tad Nieter and Gary Hawblitzel.
The science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students in the summer school program elected to participate, Borden said. “It’s kind of like summer camp and they wanted to be a part of it,” he said.
Borden and Thrasher led the segment on EV3 robotics. He said they were connecting them to the Mars Mission Board designed by Lego Education and NASA®.
“They are completing missions we’re currently working on to make life on Mars possible,” Borden said.
Students were showing guests Wednesday how their robots worked and what they could do. Borden said the students also created an iMovie to show what they worked on.
In the first session Nieter instructed his students on WeDo Lego robotics.
“The first one we did was warm- versus cold-blooded animals,” he said.
One was a Lego alligator. It could be programmed to open and shut its mouth at different speeds depending on the temperature given.
Then the students created soccer kickers for the World Cup using Lego robotics. A goal was set up for some classroom competition. Some students were able to get their kicker to make a goal up to 9 feet away from the goal.
“For the language arts portion they had to become a sports commentator,” Nieter said. Those were recorded and different noises like crowds cheering were added.
Hawblitzel led the session on the circuits.
“We began with the various forms of energy. Then we focused on potential and kinetic energy. Then we narrowed it down to electrical energy,” Hawblitzel said.
Working with the Snap Circuits kits allowed the students to put different circuits together, he said. Using a program called Circuit Builder® allowed the students to make different circuits which they could adjust to make lights brighter or dimmer or fans spin.
“We also did a Jeopardy® PowerPoint® presentation to review what they learned in a game format,” he said.
This summer was the first year for this STEM summer program, Hawblitzel stated.
“It’s going really well,” he said. “The kids are excited to be here and they’re finding science fun. That’s always been my goal, to make science fun so when students get to the middle school or high school, they will want to take science because they had so much fun at the elementary level.”