STEM Education

Students participating in the Lego STEM Challenges
Teachers learning about Dash and Dots
Students engaged on a computer
Students enjoying their space Lego
Students moving their space Legos
Close up of a student's space Lego
Students pose holding their 3rd place trophy
AAJHS students pose by tree
AAHS Students pose by tree
A woman displays six cups of water that are hooked up to a computer. The computer displays a piano, which plays chords when the water is struck.
A picture of a man conducting a catapult experiment with a plastic spoon.
Students build shapes using Play-Doh and toothpicks

Students build shapes using Play-Doh and toothpicks 

Students are using iPads to utilize the Osmos system.
Students posing for a picture next to their STEM creation
Students building a model using K'NEX
MHI students placed first in the AAHS STEM robotics competition.

MHI students placed first in the AAHS STEM robotics competition.

Local Lego League Robotics Competition in Johnstown

Local Lego League Robotics Competition in Johnstown 

Local Lego League Robotics Competition in Johnstown
McAuliffe Heights Students pose for a picture at the robotics competition in Johnstown, PA.

Local Lego League Robotics Competition in Johnstown 

MHI students at KidWind Challenge
PSU Kidwind Challenge
The Propellers at McAuliffe Heights
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AASD students participating in STEM Day

Altoona Area School District recognized the impact STEM Education has had on its students’ growth and achievement.  During the 2018 – 2019 school year, the district STEM committee, made up of grade level teachers, wrote and trained their peers on STEM initiatives that are to be completed each marking period throughout the year.  The “STEM Days” focused on bridging the 4C's in STEM: Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, Collaboration with our current Pennsylvania Core Standards.  The STEM activities start by giving teams a challenge.  They work together to design a solution to the task.  Next, the group will gather their materials and test their ideas.   Students are given the chance to change their designs throughout the process in order to complete the challenge.   The STEM Days provide engaging and meaningful tasks that challenge our students to use the 4 C’s while having a fun time working together.

K'Nex - STEM Design Challenge Set

Students constructing a model using K'Nex 


Intermediate Unit 8 offers a STEM Based challenge each year to students in grades 4-8 using K’Nex sets.  This competition focuses on the 4 C’s of STEM and is a great way to have students build upon the STEM initiatives they learn in school.  Judges send the teams a challenge, for example “Create the tallest structure that can hold 10 encyclopedias stacked on top of each the using the least amount of K’Nex pieces.” The students meet before and after school to construct a prototype from K’Nex pieces of various shapes and sizes.  After the team builds their design, they must deconstruct the creation and rebuild it during the competition.  They are now tasked with designing blue prints to follow while reconstructing.  During the competition, the teams will present their structure, blueprints, and a brief power point of their experience.  It is essential for students to use their knowledge of writing, mathematics, and technology.  This event is held every year and is a favorite among the students.