Engineering success

Spring Lake elementary school students will receive a different style of learning this fall.
Krystle Wagner
Jun 29, 2013

Holmes and Jeffers elementary schools will offer a Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (S.T.E.M.) classroom — which shifts learning from memorizing information to problem solving.

Each elementary school will offer the 50-minute class to students once every four days — similar to "specials" such as music and physical education. Teachers will continue the initiative to embed technology into their classrooms.

“We want technology to be a tool that is used by all, not a subject,” Holmes Principal Sandra Smits said.

Holmes teacher Abe Overway and Jeffers teacher Betsy Kipling will be leading the courses. Overway and Kipling were also part of the district’s 1-to-1 iPad classroom program.

Kipling said the S.T.E.M. curriculum involves project-based learning, requiring students to work together to solve challenges in a creative way. Students research the possibilities to solve a problem, decide which materials to use, build and test their model, collect data — and redesign it, if needed.

Kipling said she was given the opportunity to collaborate with her peers, and learn to test and retest their outcomes.

“I want to share that passion with students by giving them the opportunity of scientific discovery, as well as try to solve real-world challenges,” she said.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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