The 2nd annual “Elementary Students Experience STEM Day” invited 27 Skyline Vista students to Westminster High School for a fun filled day of STEM activities with high school students.
Put together by Westy STEM educator Jessica Messmer, Skyline students learned the meaning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and looked at different careers in these fields.
The young students also got to work hands-on with robotics and programming by taking control of three “robots” they used to construct peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The young students also had to employ communication skills and teamwork with the older students in order to get their sandwiches made.
Next, the group split up by gender. The girls went with Westminster High science teacher Scott Troy to his biomedical class to focus on activities concerning the human body. The girls built models of the lungs and cells, tested the brain’s dominant side, experimented with exercise and heart rate and created maps of their tongues.
The boys went to the engineering room and learned about 3D printing and how to create items on ‘Inventor’, a 3D modelling program. They took measurements of a key chain and created gears to go inside. The students then used the 3D printer to produce the gears. In the end, the boys were given 3D printed key chains and 3D printed “Pokémon’s.”
“We’re making toys the same way companies do,” said 2nd Grade Skyline student, Adriel Febo.
When it was time to switch, the girls joined Messmer in her engineering room to learn the importance and uses of wind and solar power. Each girl was given a wind and solar powered doll-house which the high school STEM students had been working on weeks prior. Some of the girls chose to paint the inside of the house while others chose to print paper dolls.
“I was very proud of the younger students’ perseverance,” said Messmer. “Many of my older students reported that having the kids there made them feel really good. We can’t wait to do it with another school next year!”