Standard 1: Learners engage in STEM learning experiences that integrate all STEM disciplines with an emphasis on processes and practices associated with STEM.
Campbell STEM Elementary believes a rigorous interdisciplinary STEM education, combining hands-on inquiry, the engineering design process, place-based learning, and real world problem-solving fosters the joy of discovery and understanding about the world that will prepare our diverse students for citizenship in the 21st Century. STEM learning experiences are integrated daily into all STEM disciplines.
Teachers and staff provide students with STEM learning opportunities that are real-world focused, hands-on, relevant, and complex. Students use the Engineering Design Process to collaboratively solve problems through inquiry and investigation. Staff receive training through staff meetings, professional learning communities, and professional development to ensure state standards, STEM learning opportunities, the Engineering Design Process, and the scientific method are integrated.
STEM learning requires students to work individually or in collaboration to explore, research, and provide solutions to real-world problems. Through the Engineering Design Process, students work through the following: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Experiment, and Improve. Students share their ideas and projects with others receiving feedback. Students often provide multiple solutions. In Alaska we have over 46,000 miles of shoreline causing a lot of erosion. 2nd graders researched and built breakwaters to protect coastal cities and villages in Alaska. 3rd and 4th graders designed houses for coastal cities.
All students in PreK - 6th grade participate in school-wide STEM challenges. An example would be discussing a real-world Alaska engineering problem and solving the problem. The main materials used in the design are canned and boxed food. These items are donated by the students, families and local community and then donated to Campbell STEM families. 5th grade built a bridge structure to span Turnagain Arm, saving travelers time and mileage and making the road less congested. 2nd grade created a new basket sled for sled dog racing in Alaska. 4th grade created prototypes for raised housing for Alaska coastal villages.
Engineering Design Process
Campbell STEM staff wanted to provide our students with a systematic tool for finding solutions to problems across all content and specials. Staff, students, and families elected to integrate the Engineering Design Process in PreK - 6th grade and across all subjects. Posters are displayed throughout the school along with evidence of student use. The Engineering Design Process was introduced to staff, students and families. A six-step Engineering Design Process consisting of: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Experiment, and Improve was implemented in PreK-6th grade. This allows for common language usage throughout school.
At Campbell STEM we integrate STEM throughout all learning. STEM integration is the foundation for all special events. We have a quarterly schoolwide STEM day of learning. A few examples include construction of a sturdy Fun Rondy outhouse and an igloo building. Our annual field day consisted of STEM challenges such as launchers, creating a device to carry an egg on a spoon without it falling off, obstacles course, FabLab, etc.
Campbell STEM students designed and constructed the Campbell STEM Yearbook. Students took pictures, created captions, and worked with software to determine the layout. The Engineering Design Process was used to solve the problem - How can we create a yearbook that students can afford and is a true reflection of who we are? Campbell STEM students also adopted the local city park - Wolverine Park. A grant was applied for and funded for over $40,000 to create an outdoor learning environment throughout the park. Students created birdhouses, signs, maps, and cleared walking paths. Classes go to the park to explore, learn and be a part of the world around them. Some STEM instruction occurring at Wolverine Park consist of collecting and making syrup, studying wind, recording leaves and identifying trees, and using the Engineering Design Process to continually make improvements to the park.
Evidence: Standard 1