A school’s new STEM room is a think tank for young students, as they make creations of their own that solve problems and are innovative inventions.
The Valley View School in Watchung, NJ, received a grant from the Summit Medical Group and the Watchung Educational Foundation (WEF) to complete their STEM room last summer. The new room also came with a new STEM teacher, Emma Saporito. She is a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey, and has a degree in iSTEM Education.
Some of the projects Saporito’s students have been working on include a prosthetic hand, and a stable-engineered bridge.
“It’s been really interesting watching the kids look at something from a different perspective,” said Saporito. “They’re creative, they’re very hands-on and that’s new for them. So seeing something go from their heads and imagination down on paper and actually then sketching it out and building is a new experience for them, and I think they’re taking to it very well.”
Saporito’s students designed a playground earlier this year, ensuring the best possible layout. “We started out by coming up with an idea for a really fun, awesome playground that they could build and they came up with all of the best equipment they would like to have,” said Saporito. “Then I just gave them some constraints about how far apart they could be, the size and from there they had to optimize the space to make it the best playground they could before trying to build a model of it. So they had to be a little bit creative in ways that they could make it.”