Students explore science

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Neighbors | Submitted.Michael Flores and Ben Furtaw created a plan to try to get gingerbread to cross the river without getting wet during one of the STEM Friday events.


Boardman Stadium Drive Elementary School explore science concepts STEM Friday’s.

First-grade teacher Missy Struharik brings students to the Chengelis Science Lab at the school every week for the projects.

“STEM Friday’s is an opportunity for time to explore and fail on our own creating an incredible learning process in room 102 at Stadium Drive,” Struharik said.

Struharik said that each week students are given a new activity to design. Often the activities include a mixture of literacy and STEM.

On Nov. 30, students worked on an activity where they read “The Gingerbread Man” and had to design a way to get the gingerbread across the river.

Struharik said that students each week break into teams and come up with a unique plan to find a solution to the problem.

“Students are given time to think freely and consider options as designing a solution,” Struharik said. “Students consider how to make adjustments if encountering a problem.”

After the plan is cemented, students work to create their solution.

“Hands-on materials are provided in order for a model to test how the Gingerbread will cross the river without getting wet,” Struharik said.

During this process Sturharik said she will begin to ask students why they believe that is the best design.

“Creating the plan also gives the student a learning opportunity independently or as a team in the design process,” she said.

Struharik said that as the facilitator she will incorporate math concepts with shapes and quantities into her questions.

After students create their design they test their projects.

“Students test the design, asking what’s the goal and does it work,” Struharik said.

She said that student explain their solution, reflect on their choices and make adjustments as needed.

“Students know its okay to fail,” Struharik said. “We celebrate our ‘opps’ it gives us an opportunity to make something beautiful.”

Each week the class adds another STEM kit, but students are able to work independently on previous STEM kits during centers.

“It’s an amazing hands on learning process and an opportunity to work with classmates coming up with solutions,” Struharik said.

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