It’s May, which means it’s time for MakerFaire! A celebration of the Maker Movement, the faire is a unique festival that blends STEM fields, art, creativity, and the design process. This year, SLI students from all three grade levels presented projects that they specifically developed for Maker Faire. Each grade level was given a theme to inspire their projects:
For 7th grade, the theme was “Growth Mindset In, Stress Out;” the 8th graders were given given the theme “Exploration;” and the 9th grade theme was “Philanthropic Fabrication,” inspiring community-oriented, altruistic projects from students.
A couple weeks ago, SLI’s 7th grade cohort got the chance to visit Levi’s Stadium, where they saw and experienced STEM in the real world. The day included a tour of the stadium (which has incorporated several STEM related features into its design) and the 49ers Museum (which features football memorabilia and educational pieces about the science of football); in addition to the tours, students participated in hand’s-on activities, including a motion lab and a gridiron engineering lesson.
The motion lab broke down the physics behind standing jumps and sprints. And student teams played a math game that required critical-thinking and probability (in addition to good ball-throwing skills). The gridiron engineering lab focused on the design-thinking process; students created new designs for the metal face-masks on football helmets (gridirons), then discussed and received feedback on those designs. The exercise served as helpful practice in the design thinking cycle.
Overall, it was a fun trip that gave students tangible examples of STEM and broadened their understanding of concepts that they learn every week in SLI.
In the next decade, 80% of jobs will require STEM skills; responsible, leading, organisations know that their future workforce – and subsequent returns – will rely on the next generation being inspired to engage in STEM education from a young age.
This week SLI Students volunteered at Beyond Innovation, a STEM event hosted by Beyond Sport, 49ers Foundation, and Chevron. The event focused on potential STEM education innovations, with the goal of filling the growing demand for STEM skills across several industries. (more…)
Students were given the following goal: to construct a device to help explorers cross two ravines in an ice field. According to the 2017 official rules, “Explorers must cross each ravine, bringing their entire device across for future use. Self-powered aerial solutions such as planes, drones, lighter-than-air vehicles or helicopters are prohibited.”
At the competition, it was fascinating to see how all the teams tackled the challenge; some teams used remote cars or robots; other decided to use only simple machines to cross the ravines. Across all competing grades and teams, devices struggled to effectively cross the ravines; four devices from SLI teams successfully completed the challenge! And SLI teams received the following awards: Top Tech Challenge Story, 2nd Place in the Video Contest, Outstanding Device Performance, and Outstanding Engineering Design Process. Well done, everyone!
This past week SLI students volunteered at two community events in Santa Clara. The first event, STEM Central, took place on Saturday at Central Park Library. Fifteen SLI students hosted booths about FIRST Tech Challenge and other STEM activities.
According to the event website, “STEM Central is an all-day, family-friendly event celebrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the heart of Silicon Valley. Visitors will come face to face with every manner of technology, from printing presses and glassblowing to virtual reality, robots, and drones. […] Younger visitors will get hands-on at interactive Innovation Stations throughout the library, where children and adults can work together to build circuits, learn to write code, and launch their very own rocket.” (Visit the City of Santa Clara websitefor more info)
On Tuesday, multiple students volunteered at another event, the STEAM Exposition at Central Park Elementary School. The event included different STEAM-related activities and booths that showcase STEAM projects and design thinking. SLI students hosted multiple booths, working to inspire a younger group of STEM students