It’s another great day of learning at Dunwoody Elementary School. But it’s not just any day, it’s STEM Science Lab Day…and the children are roaring with excitement!
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is deep, effective, inter-disciplinary, high-order cognitive learning that promotes true understanding, solutions-focused life application, AND tons of FUN for kids!
Kindergarten through fifth grade students at this STEM-certified school eagerly participate in weekly science challenges and experiments that enrich their academic studies and encourage both individual and team-focused resolutions of real-world problems.
As described by Dunwoody Elementary STEM Instructor, Renee Taylor, in her guest article to GPB media*, all children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them and enjoy applying problem-solving skills to their everyday learning. And, through hands-on STEM Science Lab projects, they do so with items as simple as LEGOS.
In recent labs, for example: Dunwoody Elementary Kindergarteners increased counting skills through LEGO sorting challenges; first graders learned about the water cycle using LEGO designs; and third, fourth, and fifth graders used LEGO building blocks to construct models of animal habitats, flower beds, and more.
“One major purpose of projects, labs, and instruction such as this – which occurs daily in over 100 schools throughout our district – is to generate true engagement with the learning process by building excitement and relevance into instruction on the front end,” said Superintendent R. Stephen Green. “You can then more successfully introduce content-rich material for students to process and absorb. In contrast, when you introduce algorithms and the Pythagorean theorem at the onset, without first building true engagement, some students will have lost interest from the very beginning.”
STEM certificates, conferred by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) or AdvancED, recognize schools, such as Dunwoody Elementary, that have met specific criteria regarding the development and incorporation of targeted, inter-disciplinary lessons and labs in areas that support college and career readiness.
“STEM certifications are vital,” notes Green, “because they demonstrate that our schools can deliver specialized instruction in subjects that lead to successful transitions to college and careers. We are extremely pleased that 20 district schools, including Dunwoody Elementary, have stepped forward, completed the STEM certification process, and raised the bar on the rigor and relevance of what our students are learning.”
You can read Ms. Taylor’s full GPB article by clicking here.
To learn more about STEM education, please visit the following sites: