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Logan Elementary School- STEM Challenge 

Logan STEM Challenge

Two years ago Logan Elementary School started a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Committee.  The team of teachers look for, create and welcome students to solve problems, build and create.  The STEM Committee invites students to come to school early to work on STEM Challenges.  The challenges range from early elementary to upper elementary and sometimes combine both.  Parents are invited to attend and observe their children work in teams to solve and/or work through the STEM challenges.  For example, students in grades 4, 5, & 6 were challenged to create a chair using newspaper and duct tape that an adult could sit in.  The student designed, created, went back to the drawing board and redesigned and recreated to meet the challenge.  Multiple groups were able to design and create chairs that an adult could sit in.  The chairs are on display in the showcase.  K, 1, 2, & 3 students were challenged to build a tower using candy corn and toothpicks.  The students were able to use an unlimited supply of candy corn and toothpicks.  The challenge was to build the tallest tower in a specific amount of time.  The students had a great time working collaboratively on this project.  The STEM committee continuously looks for ways to create a collaborative engaging learning experience for the students.   

Girls STEM DAY

Girls STEM Day
 
Girls in STEM was a brand new event for the Altoona Area School District this year.  Girls in Grades 3-6 celebrated this day with special events and activities.  As a district, we know how important this day was for our girls, because STEM related careers are growing at a fast pace and women continue to be underrepresented in these careers.
 
Each elementary school began the day with a presentation from a woman working in a STEM related field.  The women presenting represented a variety of STEM careers including an Engineer, a Watershed Specialist, a Physician’s Assistant, a Wildlife Specialist, an Air Traffic Controller, an Audiologist, and a Biology Professor.
 
Following the presentation, the girls participated in six, 15 minute sessions that included a Beach Ball Tower STEM Challenge designed by Penn State Altoona pre-service teachers; a Robotics presentation from AAHS students; and several coding activities using Dash, Sphero, and Bee Bots robots, with the assistance of some students from MH@I. It was important for the girls to see all of the different levels of education represented, from elementary through college.
 
Don’t worry—we didn’t forget the girls in Grades K-2 or all of the boys!  They were busy during the event engaging in coding using lessons from code.org.  It was a fun day for all of our Elementary Schools!
 

Lego League Competition 

Students engaged with Lego spaceships.

First LEGO League Club explores STEM activities and builds with LEGOs all the while fostering cooperation, communication, and team-building skills.  Our competition team members has designed, built, and modified a LEGO robot.  Students coded the robot to complete specific missions on the “Into Orbit” challenge field.  In addition, team members have researched a problem specific to long-term space exploration and developed a solution.   The FIRST LEGO League competition is scheduled for January 12th at the Altoona Area Junior High School. 

 

Baker Elementary School 

Hour of Code was a success!  Students were engaged in a short video about how coding works and the impact it has on our daily lives and future careers.  They then had the opportunity to experience coding for themselves.  Students from all ability levels showed interest and success.  Through their newly learned coding skills, students used their Snoopy characters to gather snowballs and throw them at the snowmen in order to advance to the next level.  This truly was an excellent opportunity for students to be immersed in this 21st century skill.On Friday, November 30th, Baker students participated in the school district's first STEM Day for Girls.  While the girls were busy learning and completing various activities all geared around STEM, the boys were participating in an Hour of Code.  This activity allowed the boys an opportunity to also have experience with STEM activities.  The Hour of Code had students access the website code.org to practice critical thinking skills in order to create codes to program various characters to move and complete certain tasks and actions.  The boys were very much engaged and excited about this event.
 

Students at Bake completing a STEM activity