Secord students test STEM knowledge

A purse with a solar smart-phone charger. Door-to-door battery pick up. Garden scoops built for super-speedy seeding.

 Nia, a Grade 4 student at Secord Elementary, snaps a photo with a toy camera made for a class fashion show that featured recycled outfits, including a dress of sewn newsprint. From kindergarten to Grade 5, every student at Secord got to display projects that developed their STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) on Jan. 16. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Nia, a Grade 4 student at Secord Elementary, snaps a photo with a toy camera made for a class fashion show that featured recycled outfits, including a dress of sewn newsprint. From kindergarten to Grade 5, every student at Secord got to display projects that developed their STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) on Jan. 16.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Every student at Secord Elementary put a bright idea on the table during the school’s first-ever STEM showcase on Jan. 16.

Speaking in a gym full of student projects, teacher Claire Roberts said the idea was to combine learning from all four STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – into fun projects that students build by hand.

“This is the way of the future, and not even the future, but right now,” said Roberts. “We’re trying to start integrating it all at a very young age.”

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From kindergarten to Grade 5, every class at Secord took turns showing off their STEM projects, including Roberts’ own class of six and seven year-olds with autism.

“Our school really tries to integrate the special needs classes,” Roberts said. “There are very high expectations.”

Right on time for winter colds, Grade 5 students Hivah, Emile and Shianna invented The Popper – a bright blue tube that stores used facial tissues until you find a green bin to recycle them.

Thinking about all the electricity that home appliances drain while in “standby” mode, Tara, Sarah, Oleg and Reilly made a prototype of The Lazy UnPlug – an electrical outlet with its own on/off switch.

And after seeing expired batteries build up at home, Samara, Sava, and Asmita designed a door-to-door battery exchange that would run once a year, on World Environment Day.

From solar smoothie makers to bird boxes, water-saving taps to recycled toys, dresses, and banjos, the environmental theme of the STEM showcase meant all the tinkering was for a good cause.

“It’s great,” said parent Inna Kharchenko.

“They have an opportunity to create something.”


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