It’s STEM Week at Green Hedges! Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) represents a significant part of our balanced curriculum. In this week, we focus attention on these four disciplines and how our talented Green Hedges faculty guides our students to draw connections between and among them.
A highlight of the week is the annual Science Fair. Students in Grades 4 through 8 have been working for weeks developing hypotheses, performing experiments, and documenting their conclusions. Parents, teachers and all students tour the display of completed projects while these scientists explain their procedures and what they learned. The robotics class exhibits the cars they designed and programmed, and 3-D printing demonstrations occur. Throughout the week, our Middle Schoolers will lead our Montessorians and Lower School students through more science activities, and the week will culminate at Closing with the Grade 8 Science Show.
If this week ignites interest in STEM in your child, there are plenty of ways to keep the discussion going long after the week has ended. Here are some ideas:
- Encourage curiosity – Embrace the many questions of “why” and “how” all children ask as they interact with their world. Explain the things you know and help your child research questions that stump both of you.
- Work math concepts into your everyday life – there are plenty of opportunities to support learning in math. Have your child help measure out ingredients while you bake to get exposure to fractions. When you are at the grocery store, have your child estimate the weight of a large bunch of grapes after weighing a smaller one.
- Seek out non-fiction information – There are plenty of non-fiction topics that children find fascinating – just try to walk a second-grader past a book about sharks or dolphins! Encourage your child to choose a non-fiction book on a topic they find interesting when you visit the library. There are also many viewing options of science programs or documentaries available on PBS Kids, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and within the Netflix catalog. Choose one appropriate to your child’s age and watch together.
- Visit a science museum – Our area is rich with opportunities given the complex of Smithsonian Museums just a short drive away. Whether your child is interested in natural history, aeronautics, or zoology, there are many choices for a family outing that would encourage their interest.
- Visit the Maker Faire in Reston on March 19 – Maker Faire NoVa is a showcase of invention, creativity, resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning covering all aspects of the STEM education movement. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds. This year the faire will feature a lot of hands-on exhibits where attendees get to learn and make things that they can take home like learning to solder and forming clay on a pottery wheel.
More ideas can be found at: