What do noodles and marshmallows have to do with higher order thinking processes? How can magnets help us solve problems? These questions are a sample of some of the STEM lessons Van Allen third graders have been working on this year.
STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) an initiative is promoted by Governor Branstad’s STEM council, to increase the learning skills and processes by which students use complex thinking to solve problems creatively. We have been so fortunate to be the only elementary to receive this grant for the past two years.
Our third grade students have used this type of learning to solve geometry challenges using spaghetti noodles and marshmallows to build free standing towers and pyramids at the end of our math unit. In science, we are exploring with magnets to build background knowledge, which will eventually help us build a magnetic levitation train. So many exciting experiences this year-take a moment to talk with your third grader to find out more!
By Mrs. Schnicker