Elementary STEM Labs
Each of the ten elementary schools in Charlotte County has a high-tech Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) lab that students attend in grades K-5. The activities in these labs give a great introduction to careers in the 16 Career Clusters offered throughout K-Postsecondary classes in Florida schools.
The STEM labs are designed to provide technology education at its best by supporting academic development, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The students work through a wide-range of modules and projects that relate to specific career clusters.
The strength of the labs lies in the philosophy of providing technology education, not technology entertainment. It does this by providing a dynamic combination of computer-based learning resources that incorporate multimedia technology within a managed learning environment.
Students work in teams on collaborative projects linked to modular study. In each assignment, students are learning workplace skills such as problem solving, team working, and communication skills. Each member of the work team has a specific job title: Inventory Control Specialist; Master Builder; Academic Assistant; Group Coordinator.
Some examples of modules include:
- Physical Science
- Scientific Reasoning
- Earth Science
Students in K-2 work on computers and then move to learning about gears, motion, energy, simple machines, and shapes. They enjoy learning about the insect life cycle and Living/Non Living things.
Grades 3-5 feature amazing building projects such as a car, paddle boat, scales, bridges, wheel barrel, irrigation system, gears, and much more! These are all built by the team of four students using plastic tubes and gears called "TacTics."
These building projects lead to experiments in measuring speed, distance, balance, and many other math related items. The students learn to conduct the experiment, gather the data, and then present comparative reports. Quite impressive for an elementary student!
After six years in the STEM lab, the students are highly prepared for the next step, Middle School STEM!