Grant Report FALL 2022 Montgomery Village PS Orangeville Ontario
Susan Penfold’s Grade 5 class, and Sharon Taylor’s Grade 1 class, were awarded a $500 grant from STEM Camp Foundation. The grant was used to purchase Makedo kits, a Makey Makey, rolls of conductive tape, LED lights and coin cell batteries. The ultimate. Project goal was to build a STEM fort, FORT STEM we presume, in the school gymnasium. I had the pleasure to visit the school in late May to see the final project and enjoy watching students from both grade levels enjoy the results of their hard (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) work.
Throughout the year, the “Learning Buddies” (Grades 5 and 1) at Montgomery PS worked on mini-projects, conductivity testers, game controllers, and a model community. These projects provided the students with hands-on building activities leading up to their massive Fort STEM project in late May. Activities included construction, electricity, and iterative design, and they had a significant impact on the young students. The projects provided opportunities for cross-grade level engagement, and a chance to develop important STEM skills, problem solving, collaboration and creativity.
The Montgomery Project PS events have shown that project-based learning can be an effective way to excite students about STEM education, while promoting a positive school culture.
Michael Pembleton is a Grade 7/8 teacher at Victoria PS in London, ON. His ask in the fall of 2021 was for $452 to buy some Microbits for his class to “develop their coding and logical thinking skills (Junior and Intermediate students). He will have them design and run computer programs using appropriate coding software, and then have them export their programs to a Micro-Bit (pocket sized computer) so they can see the results of their work. These bits will help students meet the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum expectations for coding. Students will see if their program “output” matches their desired “outcome”.
Students will experience the excitement of coding and the angst that exists when their program output does not work as they planned. Students are always learning. The project outcome is to have students develop their logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Here are some photos of Microbits and an explanation of how they are used.
The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces you to how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and many input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with you and your world.
The new micro:bit with sound adds a built-in microphone and speaker, as well as an extra touch input button and a power button.
Chris Cunningham teaches a Kindergarten class at Sir Arthur Currie PS in London, ON. Her grant application for $500 to buy coding supplies for her students was approved by STEM Camp Foundation in December 2021. Chris wanted to buy some BlueBots, and BlueBot mats for coding applications with her students. In her words, “We will move the bots to different sounds, numbers and locations on a map. They will get to investigate other STEM activities such as building magnets and doing float experiments. Students will get to use hands-on investigation techniques with various STEM kits to study engineering concepts and use materials to conduct their own experiments.” Here are some photos from Chris’ class.
Teachers Mary Jack and Natalie Patrick applied for a $500 grant purchase shovels and block makers for their Grade 2 and Kindergarten classes at Georgian Bay K-12 school in Meaford, ON. The photo below is SCF Executive Director Ron Cougler, posing outside the new school with Vice-Principal Julie Phillips in May 2022, on a school visit.
The STEM project supported at GBCS was to provide tools to create towers and igloos out of snow. This sounded like a great technology and engineering project for seven year olds, and one that STEM Camp Foundation was very pleased to support. In Mary’s words, “students will need to plan ahead, monitor weather conditions, learn about the states of matter and how temperature affects precipitation. They will need to study structures, materials and use math skills to make their igloo stable . The Grade 2 students will ‘pay it forward’ when they make an oral presentation to the Kindergarten class about “building igloos that last”.
Lexington PS was granted $500 to participate in a STEM challenge in the Spring of 2022 using Makerspace technology. Grade 6 teacher, Leah Carter, indicated in her application that “Students will work collaboratively in teams to learn STEM concepts and participate in weekly build and design challenges. Engineering tasks involve a hands-on problem-solving project that students will work on as a team, with a given amount of time and materials.” This grant involves students with open-ended creativity, development of critical thinking skills, and intellectual flexibility. It will instill confidence and a sense of accomplishment in the students.
Grade 7 Teacher, Richard Dew at White Oaks PS in London, Ontario applied for a $500 grant to teach coding of robots with Microbits to his class. His goal was to “bring higher thinking challenges to students in their Math and Science classes.” The Microbits purchased will help him teach engineering of small-scale wind turbines. Students working below grade level will also be helped with their studies through the use of Snap Circuits. Their STEM grant will allow for cross-curricular, differentiated instruction, that will allow students to grapple with real world, hands-on, applications in STEM concepts such as coding, circuitry and renewable energy.
Here are some great photos sent to STEM Camp Foundation by Richard.