STEM is an acronym for "science, technology, engineering, and mathematics." STEM is recognized by experts in education, business, industry and technology as an area of need and focus in education. Students who take courses in STEM learn to collaborate, think critically and problem solve - which are all essential skills in 21st century classrooms, colleges, and careers.The STEM elective courses vary by grade level. Although the classes do focus on the general topic of engineering and design, the classes are individual in nature. They do not require a pre-requisite for participation.Semester Classes:
- 6th Grade: Intro to Engineering Design Process. In this class students gain an understanding of the iterative process of engineering design. Using the 14 Grand Challenges as our general guide, students engage in a variety of hands-on projects related to real world problems. Students also explore careers in the various fields of engineering and develop life skills of communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.
- 7th Grade: 3D Design and Manufacturing. This class guides students in learning the basics of engineering, design, and computer 3D modeling. Students will explore concepts of manufacturing and print their own 3D designs.
- 8th Grade: Intro to Architectural Design and Green Energy. Students explore basic architectural forms, trends in "green" energy sources, and interior design.
- Advanced STEM: 8th Grade. Robotics and Digital Electronics (No pre-requisite required). This is a beginning course in robotics. We will be utilizing VEX Robotics Kits, RobotC software and various Arduino components. The objective of this course is to introduce the student to basic programming as well as problem solving strategies. This course will involve students in the development, building and programming of a VEX robots. Students will work hands-on in teams to design, build, program and document their progress. Topics may include motor control, gear ratios, torque, friction, sensors, timing, program loops, logic gates, decision-making, and timing sequences. Student designed robots will be programmed to compete in various courses/challenges.
Robotics courses provide a unique opportunity for learning because many students have limited experience with Robotics and much of the content will be new. Students WILL encounter difficulty - this is expected, normal, and highly encouraged. With robotics, many times the things we expect to happen, simply do not. This experience of failure can be frustrating to some, but the process of working through difficulties in a systematic way without giving up is a life skill every student should learn. We hope that this class will provide motivation for students to continue in computer science and engineering courses in the future, but if they don't, at least they will be growing some new brain neurons along the way(BRAIN POWER!)
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