MARYSVILLE – Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics are gaining STEAM in education locally.
“It’s the best program we’ve ever had,” third-grade teacher Melissa Rendiz said at a recent fair at Sunnyside Elementary.
Students engineered interactive projects out of inexpensive materials. For example, one of the most-favorite hands-on exhibits was the “Hopper Poppers.” Made basically out of a small piece of cardboard and a rubber band, students had fun seeing how high they could get them to hop. Second-grader Kayleigh Merriweather showed how accurate she was hitting a target.
Another exhibit was similar to a paper airplane, except this “Hoop Glider” was made of a straw and strips of paper folded into a loop. They did not fly as far as the traditional planes, but their looping patterns of flight made them fun to watch.
Principal Brynn Marcum said each grade level became experts of a certain project. So earlier that day the kids taught each other. There were 21 stations.
At one station, students used the cardboard rolls inside toilet paper to guide a marble into a cup. “They tinker until they find the solution,” fifth-grade teacher Chris McFall said. That could have been said about all of the exhibits, including stained-glass kites, foil boats containing pennies, and straw towers that held tennis balls.
One of the most interesting exhibits was “Walking on water.” It’s easy to do. Just mix one part water to two parts corn starch in a container large enough to stand in.