On the evening of May 26th, Lower Merion School District hosted a STEM Night for families with students in kindergarten, first and second grades. The event was initially planned for April of 2020, but was postponed until May of 2022 due to the pandemic.
Teachers in the Arcadia University STEM Cohorts, under the guidance of the District's Supervisor of Elementary STEM, Nancy Acconciamessa, planned an evening for families to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through hands-on and engaging activities.
Families participated in engineering and design challenges as well as explored makerspace activities facilitated by K-5 teachers and specialists. Engineering and design challenges encourage students to solve a problem while working within the constraints of the challenge. A makerspace is a collaborative work space for creating and learning. Both the engineering and design challenges and maker-activities provided families with the opportunity to create, innovate and develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills.
Lower Merion High School's cafeteria and gym were transformed into STEM playgrounds for families to explore, learn and create. In the cafeteria, students were provided with open-ended, creative makerspace opportunities that asked them to utilize their imaginations and recycled materials. There were also design challenges that had them work through the engineering and design process of creating and revising to meet the goal of the task. In the gymnasium, there were opportunities for families to engage in coding and robotics activities using a variety of robots including: Ozobots, Root Robots, Spheros, Edisons, Bee-bots and Code-a-pillars. Several student groups from Lower Merion High School (DAWGMA and TSA) and Harriton High School (NSBE Jr.) were on hand to showcase their talents and lead robotics demonstrations as well as assist families during the design challenges and maker activities.
For those that needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the activities in the gym and cafeteria, teachers created a quiet space. Here, families could participate in activities without the crowds and commotion.
Based upon the smiles and incredible creations seen throughout the evening, it is safe to say that those in attendance had STEM-tastic time!
Teachers in the Arcadia STEM cohorts are already busy preparing for another STEM Night for families of current third, fourth and fifth graders. That event will take place in the fall of 2022. Another K-2 event will be planned for the spring of 2023.
Click play below to see a slideshow of images from the event!