Coosada Elementary, Civil Air Patrol Partner to celebrate National STEM Day – Elmore-Autauga News

By Amanda Pevey

Elmore/Autauga News


Earlier this month, Coosada Elementary School and the Civil Air Patrol partnered together to celebrate National STEM Day.

STEM Day has been incorporated throughout all classrooms to help address state standards. Some fun STEM activities include Robot coding to find the bully or counselor, Coding with BeeBot, Lego themed Thanksgiving activities, Pattern Block Building (Thanksgiving themed). Other activities included, creating a fence for pumpkins, creating a safe place for a Turkey, and Tangrams. More STEM activities can be found below.

Pre-Kindergarten Activities-

Sink or Float (Thanksgiving Dinner)

Kindergarten Activities-

-Building various structures with cups, Legos, Magnitiles, and Playdough

-Coding to the Letter with BeeBot

-Coding with Code and Go Mice

-Let’s go Code Mats

First Grade Activities-

-Balloon Rockets

-Stacking candied pumpkins

-Pumpkin Volcano

-Coding with BeeBots and Code and Go Mice

Second Grade Activities-

-Coding to the double-digit addition problem, then solving it.

-Coding with BeeBots and Code and Go Mice

-Building Thanksgiving themed items with Legos

-Finger Rockets to Planets

Visitors that attended Coosada Elementary STEM Day included Brenda Dennis, Don Duncan, and Marjorie Bowden with the Millbrook Chamber of Commerce; Tracy Wright, the STEM PD Specialist; Jimmy Harris, Millbrook City Councilman Ward 3 Representative; Shayla Broadway, Sue Mercer, and Ginny Smith with Civil Air Patrol; Shay Atchinson, Melissa Easley, Vanessa Brown Elmore County Technology Integration Specialists; Susanne Goodin, Elmore County Director of Human Resources, and Janet Krantz, Pastor of Robinson Springs United Methodist Church.

“We spent the day celebrating STEM in our school,” said Heather Perdue,

“We used our materials that we received for the Civil Air Patrol/Aerospace Education. It was incredible to see our students from PreK to 2nd Grade participating in various activities throughout the day,” Perdue said.

She continued, “It was so wonderful to see our faculty and students engaging in STEM. I think STEM is so important because it encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students learn how to work together and that there is more than one way to solve a problem. They also learn that if something fails, they do not give up, instead, they try a different solution. It is so beneficial that we begin introducing STEM at such a young age and scaffolding it as they get older.

“I am so glad that we are able to celebrate STEM at Coosada Elementary School. I am also so grateful to the Civil Air Patrol/Aerospace Education program at Maxwell Air Force Base for selecting our school to be a pilot school for their program! I am also thankful for the many stakeholders that came to see our school celebrating STEM Day. I enjoyed walking them around the school to see the various activities in the classrooms.

“Coosada Elementary took this opportunity to invite their stakeholders to observe all the amazing projects their teachers and students are doing with STEM and the Civil Air Patrol,” said Shayla Broadway, Program Manager, Aerospace Education, Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary.

She continued, “Recently, Civil Air Patrol/Aerospace Education (CAP/AE), was able to provide classroom sets of Bee-Bot, Code & Go Mouse, and Let’s Go Code STEM Kits, along with printed curricula and Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) materials as a beta test for a possible new program, thanks to a generous grant from Maxwell Air Force Base’s Air University Innovation Accelerator. Each teacher at Coosada Elementary was provided with a complementary CAP/AE membership as an Aerospace Education Member (AEM), professional development, and complete classroom sets of each of the three STEM Kits to use with their students. From robots and coding foundations to balloon rockets and finger rockets, nearly 1,000 students (and over 60 teachers) throughout the entire school were engaged, excited, and fully immersed in Civil Air Patrol’s STEM resources for National STEM Day.”

“I was very excited for this STEM day because we were planning our activities around all of our robots given to us by Civil Air Patrol,” said Lakyn Northcutt, STEM Committee Co-Chair, 2na Grade Teacher.

“My students used the hand rocket manipulative, Bee Bots, and Code and Go Mice. They absolutely loved every activity that we did. Technology is so important with this generation. They really thrive with coding and working with the robots,” said Northcutt.

“We used our STEM materials to incorporate all of our subjects of learning,” said Haley Smith, STEM Committee Member, Kindergarten Teacher.

“Students coded our BeeBot robots to land on math problems or letters for review. We were so happy to get to celebrate STEM day,” said Smith.

“Our class was so excited when the date for STEM day was announced at school,” said Shaneise Taite, 1st Grade Teacher.

“Most of them participated in STEM last year in Kindergarten so I was really excited to take it one step further and challenge them. STEM day fosters creativity and encourages teamwork. We built a balloon rocket using a few simple materials to learn about the physics of motion and launch. The students created a path with string and released the inflated balloon along the launch path. As the balloon loses air it will move along the path with the forward motion of thrust. It was exciting to see the kids having fun while learning something new and we look forward to the next STEM day,” said Taite.

“We love STEM! I’ve been trying to incorporate more of it this year, especially on Fridays. I try to tie it in with what we are currently learning about,” said Jeanette Miller, STEM Committee member, 1st Grade Teacher.

“The students get really excited about the STEM challenges because it really makes them think & deeper. It also shows them that there are multiple ways to do things. We have been learning to listen to our teammates ideas & try each other’s ideas & then compare. What worked, what didn’t, what can we do differently. It really builds collaboration as well. For this STEM day, the kids had to build a table out of connecting blocks then code the robot to go around the table. If they were successful, then they had to build a bigger table & set the codes for the robot to go around. Another one was “save the turkeys!” Code the robot to get to the turkeys! The 3rd station was I put a taped square on the carpet with different Thanksgiving food items. They had to code the robot to get to the food on the “table.” The fourth was pumpkin stacking. How many pumpkins can you stack without it falling. The last that the observers saw was based off the story of five little pumpkins. They had to build a gate that all 5 pumpkins could sit on top of!

“The kids really enjoy it. I love seeing all the different and creative thinking, and processes that they go through. They’re still learning but I can really tell a difference when we do STEM activities from the beginning of the year until now,” said Miller.

For more information about Coosada Elementary, please visit their school website at: SEE MORE PHOTOS IN THE GALLERY BELOW.

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