By Beth Guzzetta, Middle School Math and Science Teacher and Lucius and Marie Gordon Chair in Science
It was finally time for the competing architects to present their proposals. Each came armed with their virtual project plans, cost estimates, and scale model to prove that their design had the optimal combination of functionality, aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness. The project: cabins for a special-needs camp in the Northeast that can accommodate ten campers and a counselor, with beds, personal storage, and a bathroom. The judges included the Chairman of one of the most respected and successful construction companies in New York State. The architects: Allendale Columbia 8th-grade math students.
The architect project is a perfect example of how we as Middle School faculty implement numerous aspects of STEM into our curriculum through authentic, real-world applications. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Middle School
Our 1st Grade S.T.E.M. students at Allendale Columbia School have begun their unit on Physical Mechanisms. In this real world context, our young students build structures incorporating gears and pulley systems, learn how to solve for mechanical challenges, identify driver and follower gears, and develop teamwork and critical thinking skills. Students first learn the correct terminology of all the mechanical parts as well as how each part functions.
Throughout this hands-on unit of study, students investigate the effects of friction, energy, force, and speed along with developing design thinking skills including working with constraints and real world, “unexpected function change requests” for innovating solutions (viable prototypes) to the problems posed.
In addition to developing skills in collaboration and problem-solving, our students also experience project management, documentation, data collection, and reporting out results – just like real engineers. More than learning ABOUT engineering, our young students are learning to BE engineers!
Posted in: First Grade, Highlights, Lower School