Holmes Elementary School fourth-graders built varying heights of symmetrical designs as their assignment in the school’s first-year Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (S.T.E.M.) classroom. It shifts learning from memorizing information to problem solving.
Riley Southerland and her partner built a tall tower before taking pictures on their iPad to document their success.
“It’s fun because you get to build stuff,” the fourth-grader said.
Each week, students at Holmes and Jeffers elementary schools attend the 50-minute “special” — like they would art, music or gym class. Overway teaches at Holmes and Betsy Kipling teaches the class at Jeffers.
The classroom curriculum involves project-based learning, requiring students to work together to solve challenges in a creative way. As students learned about symmetry, they used blocks to create their own design of a tower or item that displayed symmetry.
Whether or not students realize it, they’re learning, Overway said.
“Amidst the noise, they’ll still do what I asked them to do,” he said.
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