Definition of STEM Education: STEM education is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students are encouraged to develop their inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation skills while engaging in STEM related content and activities. The goal of STEM education is to prepare students for post-secondary study and the 21st century workforce as well as give students the opportunity to explore content areas not normally targeted within a traditional school curriculum.
STEM Philosophy at LPCS: LPCS continues to believe in the importance of providing our students with a strong foundation in the traditional academic areas. At the same time, the school recognizes the importance of offering students the opportunity to explore areas of study that do not fall within the traditional curriculum. While STEM initiatives are increasingly finding their way into LPCS classrooms, the school is making a concerted effort to specifically target STEM-related curriculum and develop STEM-related skills through electives (grades 5-8) and the after-school program.
STEM in the Elementary
Check out fourth grade STEM teacher extraordinaire Tiffany Few's website/STEM outreach program,Little Shop of Science.
STEM-Related Electives (Grades 5 - 8)
Students in grades 5-8 attend a "specials" class once a day. These "specials" classes include Physical Education, Health, Music, Art, and Electives classes (that the students get to choose based on their interest). LPCS is continuing to expand the STEM-related electives that are offered. Below is a list of the STEM-related electives that are offered to the students during the school year:
Computer Tech: Students learn about the major components of a computer and their function in a hands-on way by disassembling and reassembling a desktop computer and troubleshooting along the way.
Microsoft and Google Crazy: Students continue to develop their ability to work with the Microsoft Office Tools and Google Apps through a set of fun, engaging activities and assignments.
LPCS TV: Students write the script, direct, act, produce, film, and edit a weekly video that is shared with students during Wednesday's Morning Meeting that highlights the current events and LPCS student specific news.
EscherHeads: Named after MC Escher and inspired by his famous tessellations, students explore various art projects that lie at the intersection of Geometry and art.
Balsa Wood Builders: Students learn engineering principles and develop design and craftsmanship as they build balsa load-bearing structures (bridges, towers, and booms) based on the Science Olympiad competition event.
Web Design: Students develop basic HTML programming skills and learn to use tools to create personal websites.Computer Animation: Students learn how to create their own computer animation videos!
Technology Today: Students are exposed to, explore, and discuss current "hot" technology topics.
ROBOMIND Academy: Students in the 6th grade learn the basic structure and logic of programming by developing their coding skills to control a robot in a virtual environment and overcome challenges that increase in difficulty.
Stencyl Video Game Design: Students learn the basics of creating a video game using Stencyl's drag-and-drop programming environment.
Modular Origami: Students develop spatial reasoning, manual dexterity, and attention to detail as they learn to decipher increasingly more difficult origami diagrams to create personal works of art.
Video Game Design with Greenfoot: Students learn the basics of Object-Oriented Programming and logic by creating and modifying their own video games in the Java-based Greenfoot environment.
Python Game Design: Students learn the how to program in Python by making and modifying classic video games like Pong and Asteroids.
Stock Market Game: Students learn financial literacy and the basics of investing in stocks, applying their newly learned skills and a bit of luck to compete in a national stock market game for middle school.
Vehicle Design: Students develop engineering and design principles by building and testing Mousetrap, Gravity, and/or Solar-powered vehicles based on the Science Olympiad and NREL vehicle competition events.
Extra-Curricular STEM activities
In addition to the electives offered to students in grades 5-8, students have the opportunity to participate in STEM-related afterschool programs, clubs, and/or competition events. These include or have included in the past: Chess club, Science Olympiad, Math Olympiad, MATHCOUNTS, BEST Robotics Competition, Science Matters, and Lego Club.