Once every month, every student at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary (MLK) gets a class visit to the STEAM-Coding Lab, which is led by Margena Wade-Green and Michelle Hutcherson, our Director and Assistant Director of Science Horizons. The STEAM-Coding lab allows students to work with hands-on science activities to augment what they’ve learned in their regular science classes. Faith Network volunteers and CareerBridge student interns from McClymonds High School assist with helping students to complete the activities.
On a Tuesday in January, Mr. Henderson’s class arrived at the STEAM-Coding Lab to find seven science stations set up at different tables. It wasn’t long before the classroom was abuzz with delighted children discovering and turning over new ideas.
The table that showcased It’s A Bug’s Life allowed students to examine real insects and plastic replicas using magnifying glasses.
At Money Matters, students took turns roleplaying cashier and customer, utilizing cash counting and math skills while also practicing common courtesy.
Students were challenged to theorize at the Water Conservation station. Why did California have a water shortage? What will happen if we ran out of water? How can we conserve water? On learning that, because of the water cycle, the water we drink is the same water dinosaurs drank many years ago, the students all chorused “Ewwww!” in delighted disgust.
At Computer Coding, students went online to code.org and worked through lessons that are designed to inspire critical thinking in technology.
To learn about building the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at Build SFOBB, students got to construct a very simple self-anchored suspension bridge.
Can You Hear Me Now? provided students with funnels, tubing, and cups with string to show them how sound travels using vibrations.
And last but definitely not least, students made ice cream the old-fashioned way (shaking cream, sugar, and flavorings in a bag) at the ever-popular We All Scream for Ice Cream! station while they learned about the ice-melting properties of salt. Unsurprisingly, their favorite part was eating the sweet results!
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