Northridge Elementary

STEM Coordinator
Jodi Garner
STEM at Northridge Elementary is more than what we do--it's who we are. Teachers collaborate with each other and the STEM Coordinator to plan Integrated STEM Plans that make learning more authentic and engaging for students. The Design Thinking process is used by teachers and students to solve problems that range from fixing a part of our school to developing a better understanding of vocabulary. Communication and collaboration among students is vital and purposefully planned for each lesson and activity as students are given voice and choice in many of their activities. All teachers also strive to add to the authenticity of student learning by making connections for students with the community, whether that is a field trip to a university or lessons that teach students about what civil engineers do. Every year brings new challenges for everyone at Northridge, to which we ask, "How might we design a way to get better?"

Northridge Elementary News

Students who are a part of the VEX IQ Competitive teams at Northridge competed in their second tournament on Saturday, February 4.

On the eve of Spring Break at Northridge, the community flocked to the school to join teachers and staff to celebrate the amazing learning progress students have made this year.  Teachers and students worked together to create stations that showcased their amazing work.

On Saturday, February 6th, Northridge had the honor of hosting its very first VEX IQ Challenge.  Students from schools both withing St. Vrain and outside the district convened to put their teamwork, innovation, and design thinking skills on display.


The Northridge VEX IQ Club started up in the month of October, 2015 for a total of 32 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.  That's a total of EIGHT teams, up from four teams last year!


Students at Northridge received an exciting treat to start off the New Year. It came in the form of an invitation to the very first Robotics Club meeting at their school.

On the evening of December 8th, Northridge families poured in to the gym to experience the second annual STEM and Family Fun Night. Students, parents, and teachers alike took part in a variety of engaging and often rigorous activities.  

The STEM Student Leadership Team (SSLT) at Northridge started holding their meetings during the month of November.

The T in STEM is for Technology, and teachers spent a lot of time and effort in the month of October becoming familiar with the incredible amount of technological tools they received last month.


Our second year of STEM integration at Northridge Elementary began in much the same way as our first.  We had an enormous amount of technology flow into our building, and most of my month was spent getting Chromebooks and iPad Minis configured and distributed to classrooms.

May brought the good and the bad.  The good news is May capped off a great year learning about STEM.  The bad news?  School is over for the year!


On Thursday, May 8, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited our school district. Two third-grade students from Northridge Elementary attended the event at Skyline High School. Natasha and Emily represented Northridge third graders and their work.


Thursday, April 24 we invited families and the community to come and share in our learning.  We displayed standards-based design thinking challenges.  Students presented their problems, and their solutions, to anyone and everyone who would stop by and listen.  Followin


Enrich teacher learning in order to enrich student learning.

During the month of January several 5th graders got together to analyze some of the problems occurring during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.  We got involved in a design challenge to re-examine our traffic procedures.

The NSTA (National Science Teacher’s Association) is coming to Denver and we’ll be there!  At Northridge, our Science Leadership Teacher, Denise Bart, and I (Kristen Brohm, STEM Coordinator) will be attending the NSTA Conference this December with other SVVSD STEM Co


Students from each of the Race to the Top STEM Schools participated in a Leadership Council, held at Trail Ridge Middle School.  Students were selected by teachers for their leadership abilities and we meet monthly at Northridge to discuss STEM in elementary from a student&rsquo

With the Race to the Top Grant for STEM comes lots and lots of new technology!  We spent the month of October rolling out new technology into classrooms, getting devices into the hands of students.  iPads, iPad minis, laptops and chrome books, along with apps and hands on t


Following the tragedy of the Longmont Flood, students were very invested in finding out more.  During a unit of study on landforms, students inquired into all the ways their community was affected by the flooding.  They wrapped up their learning with a design challenge on t


In August, we wrapped up our first ever STEM Summer School at Northridge Elementary.   In one of many engaging learning opportunities, students embraced the opportunity to become Mechanical Engineers!  Following inquiry into simple machines, students designed devices t

Northridge Elementary Projects

Third graders are ideating ways to solve their question, "How might we create a demonstration of R.O.A.R.

At the beginning of spring this year, the fifth grade students at Northridge had the privilege to go on a unique and meaningful field trip t

In the News section of the Northridge STEM page, you'll read about our first annual VEX IQ Challenge we hosted on February 6th.

Students in 5th grade at Northridge Elementary took their interest for a topic in their guided reading group and enriched their understandin

To explore how prime and composite numbers affect us in our everyday lives, students in 4th grade at Northridge Elementary took on an intere

Intermediate students at Northridge were treated to an unusual design challenge as they became acquainted with the school's new Innovati

Students in third grade at Northridge Elementary were given a design project to help them explore measurement and data.

Kindergarteners in Mrs. Castro's class have been exploring the weather in the month of February.

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In an effort to use technology in a more effective, impactful way, 5th graders in Mrs.

The CU TEAMS Club at Northridge started back up after the holidays with an exciting challenge.

We began our second year of partnering with CU TEAMS in October.

Kindergartners investigated and communicated the effects of varying heat and light on the growth of plants through scientific study.  T

Students learned about the different states of matter and the unique properties that distinguish solids and liquids.

In this unit of study, students identified what animals need to survive, and what happens when they do not have what they need.  They l

In third grade, students were learning about how the earth’s materials can be broken down or combined.  Students learned about ro

In fourth grade, students studied energy, specifically, understanding that energy exists in various forms and its transformation and conserv

Humans body systems don’t always function correctly.

Saturday April 19 brought 5 Northridge Elementary student projects and 10 students to the Tech Fair held at Skyline High School.  Fifth

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Engineering Week was Feb 17-22.  At Northridge, we experienced engineering in the Olympics.

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Design thinking is a great way to solve all types of problems for teachers and students alike. One second grade teacher was reflecting

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During the month of February, many students and teachers like to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  One issue students often face is hav

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During the cold days of January, students at Northridge Elementary were confined indoors for recess.

During National Computer Science Week (Dec 9-13), students at Northridge Elementary School engaged in an hour-long journey into coding.

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The first Family STEM Night at Northridge took place in December.

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Kindergarten students were engaged in a unit of study about animals.  Students recognized that organisms can be described and sorted by

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First graders were engaged in a unit of study about the community.  Students were learning about different groups of people and how the

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Students were presented with the challenge to design a ship that would be able to carry a predetermined cargo weight.  During a unit of

Third grade students were involved in a challenge to determine ways to increase interest in reading.  Through the design thinking proce

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In a geography unit that focused on characteristics of a particular region and how humans interact with that region, 4th grade students were

Fifth grade students worked on a challenge to design a transport system to get supplies to Lyon’s during and following the Colorado fl