Designing structures that stand up to the elements and cleaning up after a disastrous oil spill were among the projects elementary students across the Darien school district explored this month.
All 4th and 5th grade students participated in engineering and design projects as part of the science curriculum. The best part was that new content was delivered by Darien High School students enrolled in the Fundamentals of Engineering and Principles of Engineering classes as part of a district-wide outreach program.
“Elementary students were inspired by enthusiastic and knowledgeable students from Darien High School around exciting topics in STEM,” said Linda Johnson, K-5 director of math and science. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Pictured above are students at Tokeneke Elementary School participating in the STEM Outreach Program.
In 5th grade, students have gained an understanding of the components and interactions that occur within and between Earth’s major systems. They researched information about the ways in which individual communities use science ideas to protect Earth’s resources and environment.
Students’ research helped them determine how to clean up a simulated oil spill to protect Earth’s resources and the environment. While completing the task, students evaluated and refined design solutions as part of the Science and Engineering Practices.
In 4th grade, students have been studying how the Earth’s surface changes. Students engaged in the engineering design process in order to generate and compare multiple solutions that reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
While working with the high school students, fourth graders were given the task of creating a wind resistant structure which they had to plan, create and test given constraints and criteria.
— Marc Marin is district director of instructional technology. This article is republished from the Darien Public Schools News of the Week newsletter.