STEMapalooza at Alpine

Alpine Elementary is hosting a STEM Summer Camp called STEMapalooza. Students who have just completed Kinder-4th grade come for two weeks and engage in STEM practices and philosophies. As they collaborate, communicate and engage in critical thinking skills, their creativity explodes into innovation!  Through technology, robotics, engineering and more, students’ learning is relevant, authentic and engaging.  It is a lot of fun, but we must also ask: how does this relate back to the school year when standards and skill development are the driving force behind each day? 

This is where well-trained, innovative STEM teachers make all the difference.  At Alpine, our teachers make connections between "fun" and "learning", and more often than not make sure the two overlap. Teachers demonstrate how technology can be an instructional tool that furthers learning.  Students learn how to use iMovie, but more importantly, understand how this might support their 5th Grade Exhibition Project.  Teachers structure students’ development of critical thinking skills so that opportunity for transfer will more readily occur. Students see how the critical thinking skills used in planning their strategy on the Vex Robotics Game Field can transfer to solving a math problem or making comparisons between two science articles. As students work to collaborate when building a structure out of index cards, or deepen their character when developing empathy for a user in a design challenge, they develop and nurture 21st century skills.  These skills may start to develop during “play”, but students quickly transfer this knowledge to their own work space.  Through the exploration of STEM practices and philosophies, we help to develop young individuals who may be more prepared for life than many of the adults they encounter.