Stem Lab

The Academy opened the doors to the STEM Lab in the 2013-2014 school year.  STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Students will experience inquiry based science and math instruction, engineering units of study, and robotics through the use of educational technology.  Students in grades K4-5th will visit the lab as they apply the knowledge and skills learned during science and math instruction. 

Basic Process Skills

  • Observing
  • Inferring
  • Measuring
  • Communicating
  • Classifying
  • Predicting

Integrated Science Process Skills

  • Controlling variables
  • Defining operationally
  • Formulating hypotheses
  • Interpreting data
  • Experimenting
  • Formulating models

The application or meaningful use of the knowledge and skills gained in science and math culminate in engineering.  Problem based learning is the basis for the various units in engineering.  Students will be presented a problem in story form with details that establish crucial elements of the setting, criteria used in judging their success, and any necessary background about the locale, material sources, and possible economic limitations. 

Students will function as an engineering team, and each team will use the engineering process to guide them to the production of a prototype that represents their solution to the problem.  The process includes the following steps:

Establish the Goal

ASK

  • What is the problem?
  • What have others done?
  • What are the constraints?

IMAGINE

  • What are some solutions?
  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Choose the best one.

PLAN

  • Draw a diagram.
  • Make lists of materials you will need.

CREATE

  • Follow your plan and create it.
  • Test it out!

IMPROVE

  • Talk about what works, what doesn't, and what could work better.
  • Modify your designs to make it better.
  • Test it out!

If at first you don’t succeed, imagining, plan, create again and again!  The first field of study for students will be in the area of “Materials Engineering!”  Let the learning begin!