Some fourth grade teachers are following their principal’s advice, and helping their students to discover that hands on learning is fun when it involves STEM activities.
Fourth grader Parker Johnston at George Nettels Elementary was working with his partner Averie Hinton on alternative energy sources in Whitney Rogers’ class. “It’s educational and stuff like that,” he said. They used a kit, and showed wind energy by building a machine on a platform, using a crank to power a fan. “You get to express whatever your thinking,” Johnston said. “A lot more fun than with a textbook.”
Once a week, the STEM curriculum is taught is the fourth grade classrooms, thanks to Principal Diane Jackson’s request of staff for more innovative ways to teach.
“The day (after the conversation) they started making phone calls,” Jackson said, adding: “Our kids are the ones that are going to benefit.”
Rogers made a call to Michael Neden, associate professor at Pittsburg State University. He specializes in the transformation of classrooms to implement STEM activities.
“This gives the teachers the flexibility to transform their classroom into any kind of configuration that best supports the teaching that they are doing,” he said.