Students at Manteo Middle School had the amazing opportunity to participate in National Stem Day. This school-wide event was made possible by a collaboration between the librarian, the Instructional Technology Facilitator, the AVID coordinator, and the CDC coordinator. Mrs. Houseknecht presented to all of the individual teams at MMS about the benefits of participating in STEM day, such as collaboration, inquiry learning, and enhancing the students’ growth mindset. This presentation paid off with 100 percent of the teachers participating in STEM day in one facet or another. Teachers chose between a STEM-designed interest grabber, a mini lesson, or a full class period lesson that engaged the students in the design thinking process which is taught through CTE classes at Manteo Middle. Christine Fletcher said, “This was my first year participating in this and I thought it went GREAT! The students were engaged the entire class and asked terrific questions. Can not wait to do this again!”
Students in sixth grade had the opportunity to design 3-dimensional pyramids in social studies, design a container in math to reduce the impact of gravity on an egg dropped from a specific height, they constructed a barrier to stop a rolling pumpkin from traveling down an incline plane in science and worked on collaboration and communication skills in language arts to build the tallest tower.
In seventh-grade science students flew helicopters in a study of weight, lift and drag forces, math students competed to construct paper clip chains to hold the most weight, in ELA students built structures and competed to see whose could support the most weight, and in history students designed trails through a mountain pass using topographic maps.
Students in eighth-grade science designed and studied elements that aided in the filtration of water, while others mined for ore in a chocolate chip cookie. Math students built upon their prior knowledge of simple machines to design and create Rube Golberg machines, while Math I students created a scatter plot from data collected from their bungee jumping barbies. English teachers created a STEM lesson around their novel study of the outsiders, in which students created a map to outline where important events in the story took place. Social studies students focused on inventions that were created in the renaissance era. Some even explored how mathematicians solved problems during the time period.
Exploratories also joined in on the learning experience as well. Students in physical education had to work together in teams using communication skills and engineering skills to put together a nine square in the fastest amount of time. Students in CTE imagined, designed, and tested sailboats to see which one would travel the fastest in a container of water powered by a fan. In AVID students were challenged with planning with a partner the best way to make the longest chain with a single piece of paper. In band, students explored how temperature can affect the tuning of instruments. In art, students designed and created sun catchers.
“I had a chance to really talk about how students should take the chances to improve when offered because no STEM person or Scientist gets "it right" the first time,” stated Ms. Edwards. Students were heard saying I wish every day could be STEM day. They loved being able to do hands-on activities all day. This was a great opportunity for the staff to come together to provide students with hands-on engaging lessons that incorporated the schools’ goals of incorporating the AVID WICOR (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading) strategies school-wide.