Tag Archives: STEAM

Club Sparks Second Graders’ Interest in STEAM Careers

Second graders look at the dry ice station with amazement as the high school students spray dry ice into their hands and watch it form into a bubble and fall apart in their hands in the form of vapor.

The second graders visited the high school for a day filled with fun and hands-on learning opportunities at STEAM Ahead last Thursday as they were led by STEAM high school students.

“I hope every day is like this day,” a second grader said to junior Jack Gulley, who is part of the STEAM club.

A Leonid reporter caught up with STEAM’s coordinator and Red Lion Science Teacher Mrs. DeLawder and her period 5 students and found out more about this valuable club.

“STEAM Ahead is an event for second grade students,” Mrs. DeLawder said, “and students have the opportunity to explore STEAM through attending eight different stations throughout the day.” 

The stations include math, engineering, chemistry, robotics, science, and more. “We have a very diverse experience for students, all focusing on the 4 C’s, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity,” Mrs. DeLawder explained. 

STEAM students are passionate about what they do and encourage more high school students to get involved. “I think it’s a good way to show change in the students and the younger kids,” senior Chloe Brubaker said. “I feel like if you like kids, it’s definitely something to do because you get to see a growth and interest in each subject as they realize learning can be fun and it’s not just something that they have to do everyday.”

In the near future, Mrs. DeLawder looks forward to expanding the club. “We are expanding into a new realm next year,” Mrs. DeLawder said. “We’re going to be taking our explorations of STEAM and putting them into the elementary building specifically, so we’re revamping the media centers to include a STEAM component.” 

Mrs. DeLawder is looking for new students to join STEAM next year, “you can come talk to one of us interns or Mrs. DeLawder, or even Mrs. Warner who does all the internships and she’ll give you a paper so you can fill it out and give it to any of us (STEAM Students),” said sophomore Marylee Geiger.

Perhaps the most valuable thing you can take away from this club “is taking the skills we’re doing and making them transferable,” said Mrs. DeLawder. “So, no matter if you want to go into science, technology, art, or math, or something different entirely, the skills that you are going to gain through this experience are going to be transferable to any career path that you choose to do.”

By George Keene

Sports Editor and Staff Writer

High School Hosts Second Grade STEAM Day

By Rosemarie Chan

Photos by Julia Beiler

Second graders from North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary came to Red Lion Area Senior High School to have a blast May 9 for the first-ever STEAM Ahead event.

After testing out aerodynamics by bouncing balls on top a giant red, yellow and blue parachute, the students rotated between activity stations run by about two dozen high school students.

They spent twenty minutes at each station to keep them engaged and excited about all the aspects of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). “We wanted to make sure we kept them busy,” said senior intern Jacob Franciscus.

Senior high biology teacher Mrs. Laura DeLawder organized the STEAM Ahead event with assistance from Franciscus, along with funding through Red Lion Area Education Foundation’s Friends of the Foundation Grant.  

“I believe that the day went very well!” said Mrs. DeLawder. “Our second-grade students were engaged and seemed to truly enjoy themselves.”

STEAM Ahead was inspired by a science experiment at home. Mrs. DeLawder and her oldest son, Bryce, were doing an experiment when Bryce said he wanted to do these types of experiments with his friends. A year ago, Mrs. DeLawder got permission to bring this idea to life, leading up to a lot of planning and help from other teachers.

Students ranging from 9th to 12th grade chose from six different stations to learn from and help the second graders.

At “Leo’s Launch” station, students worked together in pairs to use their creative minds to build a catapult with popsicle sticks and tape to launch a ping pong ball as far as possible.

“Some of the designs they came up with were pretty out there,” said junior Alex Serrano.  “But they had fun experimenting. They took to it more quickly than I thought they would.”

High school students asked the second graders questions to check their understanding of physics vocabulary. “They (high school students) surpassed any of my expectations as they interacted with the second graders and passed on their passion for STEAM,” said DeLawder.

Students built circuits and made mini saucers fly at the station, “It’s Electric” where the second graders learned the fundamentals of basic electronics.

“The Math Challenge” tested logic, creativity, and skill as students raced to sum their total to twenty by combining cards of different values.

Students became mechanical engineers as they paired off to build the tallest self-standing Iggy Peck Tower challenging their creativity.

Robotics then allowed students to use logic and critical thinking to get a taste of coding at “Leo’s List” station. The students had to understand the basics of coding, so they were asked engaging questions to figure out where to go with their lebo-built robots.

Students raved about “The Art of Chemistry” station, which incorporated art and science by giving the students three rotations to experiment with test tubes in which chemicals reacted to one another.

“This is the second best day of my life,” says Tyler L., one of the second grade students. “The first was when I was born.”

Second graders watched sophomore Isaiah Morales make bubbles created with the carbon dioxide from dry ice in water. The students then created their own masterpiece with the shaving cream lab that students in the high school chemistry class do for one of their labs.

“It was nice to teach the little children something and to get them to expand their knowledge and think critically while having a good time,” sophomore Laela Thibault said. “The children had high energy and that made us more excited.”

Mrs. DeLawder hopes to continue second grade STEAM Ahead days, but with many more elementary school students participating in this experience.

“Providing joint opportunities, such as STEAM Ahead, is so important as it provides another connection for students, empowering them to know that they too can make a difference.”