Rocky Mountain Elementary has the honor and pleasure to welcome back Wyatt Champion to lead Teams this year. CU Teams is a grant funded program through CU in which doctoral students in their engineering program work with elementary, middle and high school students on STEM projects. This past week, all students in our 4th and 5th grades were collaborating to build adobe bricks. They learned about the history and practicality of adobe bricks. They then decided to test different compositions of bricks. Students tested out different variables to see which brick was the strongest.
The students and teachers of Rocky Mountain Elementary are excited for a new school year. The first thing parents and teachers saw as they entered the school was a brand new television displaying STEM projects. Awaiting the students in their classroom was a plethora of new technology. Students were immediately enamored with the new iPads and Chromebooks. Already in art class, students are taking pictures of themself and recrating their portrait on paper.
The STEM Academy was a huge success. 5th through 8th grade students from across St. Vrain participated in hands-on, project-based, authentic STEM learning. Classes included Mythbusters, Girls Code, Floods 101, Robotics, Sparkfun Programming, Animation, Biotechnology, Comparative Anatomy, Medieval Weapon Design, City of the Future, and Plains to the Park and Documentary Film Making.
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! However, we did accomplish quite a bit. We became a STEM School this year and truly embraced everything this way of learning brings with it. We tried new things, including Design Challenges and integrated learning. We introduced 21st Century Skills, new technology and new ways of thinking. And even though the school year is over, the learning isn’t.
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. They had the distinct pleasure of talking with Colorado State Senator Heath and Colorado Governor Hickenlooper regarding the students' work with earth materials. It was an exciting day that these two young ladies will not soon forget.