Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chesnut’s Student Body Completes an
Aladdin Themed STEM Day

Chesnut fourth graders work on a roof for Jasmine’s new home
Chesnut Charter Elementary, currently in the multi-year process to become an official STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) certified school, held its first STEM Education Day on December 20th. As the school is presenting a production of the musical “Aladdin” in May, STEM Day was also given an “Aladdin” theme. Chesnut’s students were told that Jasmine wanted a brand new home, and each grade level was tasked with producing an answer to an issue in the building process. Pre-K and kindergarteners worked on a simple roof design that would hold up in the weather associated with Jasmine's climate. The first graders worked on how to build a structure that could hold weight. The second graders worked on "Heave Ho", which helped to decide what type of devices to use in the building process. The third graders actually built houses to survive the different climates where Jasmine lives, while the fourth graders built the roof of the castle on a much higher level than the kindergarteners’. By designing and building dams, the fifth graders focused on how to provide Jasmine and her region with water.
At a staff meeting leading up to the STEM Day, Chesnut’s teachers experienced STEM training as they learned how to teach the engineering design process. Each group of teachers had to design and build a structure out of straws that would hold a marshmallow for one minute. The tallest and sturdiest tower won.
In a new milestone in its pursuit of STEM certification, Chesnut third-grade teacher, Stacia Brown, has been accepted into the K-5 Science Endorsement program, which she will pursue outside of classroom hours. The coursework is equivalent to graduate-level college courses and includes authentic residency/field experience. Coursework and field experience (combined) total 200 contact hours. Science endorsement provides the opportunity to increase science content and knowledge appropriate to K-5 teaching.

Chesnut’s faculty receiving inservice training on teaching the
engineering design process

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