Innovation. Collaboration. Real-life Application.
Four-year-olds coding. Second graders making rollercoasters to test out their theories on velocity. Fifth graders creating habitat dioramas based on specifications from their language arts reading assignment. Eighth graders designing VEX robotic machines to race through obstacle courses. These are some of the ways our teachers bring STEM to life while providing a dynamic cross-curricular lesson.
We believe that if you have a great idea, you should share it. At CKS, we offer STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) to every one of our students in EC4 through 8th grade. Our STEM curriculum is divided between two energetic labs – one that caters to our younger students in EC4 through 4th grade and the other that challenges our 5th through 8th graders – both designed to encourage students to take leaps of faith through creative student-driven learning experiences.
All students visit the STEM labs twice per week. For our younger students, one day in STEM is a challenge that typically corresponds to STEM skills they may be working on in their primary classrooms. The second visit is a creative explosion as students work at MakerCenters to design their own version of awesome.
Fifth through 8th grade students start the year with a unit on digital citizenship that emphasizes potential pitfalls and encourages a healthy respect and understanding for the wonders of the digital world. Then, middle school students dive into 3D printer technology, plan, create and compete using Vex Robotics inventions, engineer habitats using CAD programs and go beyond the basics in coding.
See below for a sample of our STEM experiences.
“My children have the opportunity to collaborate, communicate and think creatively in many of their classes, and having a true STEM class emphasizes the importance of these life skills.”
Plants and seeds
Bridge building challenge
Roller coasters challenge
Electric and snap circuits and chain reactions
Take a 2D idea and create a 3D replica using our new 3D printer and Thinkiverse software
Build simple machines and not so simple creations with VEX Robotics
Explore the concept of gravity and force with Tetrahaedra Kites and K’nex build sets
Learn HTML coding with MIT-educator created Khan Academy online curriculum
Use SketchUp CAD-like program to digitally design natural disaster temporary shelters to potentially be used in areas like Haiti