STEAM It UP!
RIF of NOVA launched a new initiative called STEAM It Up! for four Title 1 schools in Northern Virginia, thanks to a partnership with Amazon and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The program was created to provide local students with age-appropriate books and STEAM activities in the designated RIF of NOVA elementary schools: Cora Kelly, Drew, Groveton, and Marumsco Hills. The program runs from November to December and includes a maze creation activity for younger children and a bridge building activity for older elementary students. Each child is able to choose a book that focuses on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. Activity materials are provided by Building Momentum. New photos will be added as the program proceeds.
Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology (Alexandria)
"This is the best day that I had in the world!" -- Kevin, Cora Kelly second grader
Cora Kelly librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Cathy Guthrie, along with STEM specialist Kelley Organek, wasted no time in getting started with a week-long activity schedule that included story reading, building fun, and book picking. The K-3 group constructed a maze using cardboard pieces to build a box, pieces of straw and pipe cleaner to create the maze, and a ball to fit around the obstacles. All students were then able to pick a book on a STEAM-related theme.
Fourth and fifth graders took on the engineering challenging of building a bridge from popsicle sticks and clay magic. Cathy Guthrie read them the book Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge to inspire the building juices of these budding engineers!
Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School (Arlington)
Young engineers at this Arlington school worked on their STEAM It Up! project during several classroom sessions. In teams, they filled out an "Expectations for Engineers" plan of action before they began to build and create. Librarian Dora Sue Black (also NOVA RIF liaison and board member) and STEM coordinator Kirstin Reddick led the children as they tried (and failed) and tried again! The goal for the older children was to use keva blocks or domino squares to build a creation that would be strong enough to hold the weight of a book. Would their creations work?
Trying, trying, and trying again...can we make our structure stable enough to hold weight?
Wait for it... YES! The joy of success!
STEAM It Up! It takes a village to STEAM ahead!