Norwood students celebrate STEM education
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 12:35

STREAM Fair features student science projects

by Nicole Rodman

    More than 300 visitors, including students and their families, packed the halls of Norwood STEM Program last Tuesday during the school’s STREAM Fair event.
    The STREAM (science, technology, responsibility, engineering, arts and mathematics) Fair provided students with the opportunity to show family members what they have been working on in their classes.
    The main focus of last week’s event — STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education — was apparent in all of the evening’s activities.
    “We’ve fully embraced STEM,” Kim Ebaugh, Norwood’s STEM resource teacher, explained.
    During the event last week, representatives of the Maryland Science Center were on hand to provide demonstrations of a variety of science concepts — from electricity to DNA extraction.
    Elsewhere in the school, students from every class —from pre-kindergarten to grade three — displayed projects based on the various STEM topics they have been studying this year.
    Norwood’s pre-kindergarten students got into the act by displaying the floating crafts they created out of recycled materials during their study of sinking versus floating.
    Meanwhile, the school’s kindergarteners became junior engineers, creating a variety of structures — including houseboats, townhomes and igloos, out of cereal boxes, egg cartons and other recycled items.

Changes in the weather was the topic of study for Norwood’s first-graders.
    During the STREAM Fair, the students showed off their home-made windmills and sailboats to family and friends.
    For their projects, Norwood’s second-graders designed their own “Olympic” sports.
    Students designed every aspect of their new sports  — from the layout of the playing field to the uniforms players would wear.
    In the cafeteria, third-grade students gathered around two wooden ramps to test out their Safe Racer vehicles.
    As part of the Safe Racer project, students were tasked with using recycled materials to build a car that could roll down a ramp while safely cushioning an egg riding inside.
    “They’re engineering [the car] so it is the safest it can possibly be and travel the farthest distance,” Ebaugh explained.
    According to Ebaugh, Norwood’s focus on STEM education has kept students engaged.
    “Kids love this stuff,” she said. “They’re just involved. They love it.”
    For kindergarten teacher Mary Brady, STEM education is all about giving students the freedom to exceed expectations.
    “They show us what they can do,” Brady said of the students.
    “The best part of my job is seeing what these kids come up with,” she continued, adding, “It’s very fun; they make it so fun.”