STEAM Stories: Washington Island After-School Science

    STEAM Education: Kinsey DeJardin and Julia Pratt are students in the Washington Island after-school science program.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are a critical component in helping the U.S. succeed now, and into the future. We are proud to present this week’s STEAM Story in partnership with CESA 7.

    In this week's STEAM Story, Kinsey DeJardin and Julia Pratt share their Washington Island after-school science experience. Science teacher Jessica Dennis explains that younger students are able to attend the after-school program, split into classes consisting of first/second/third-graders, and fourth/fifth graders. The first through third-graders are learning the science of sound, friction and gravity. Experiments are performed and observed, and afterward the hypothesis for each is tested with the goal of establishing scientific rejection or support. The results are then assessed for future experimentation.

    Snapshot Science manager Steve Schmidt states that the goal of the elementary after-school program is to have active participation in science, which is also called the Scientific Method, or Inquiry Science.

    Third-grade student Kinsey DeJardin describes a relational gravity experiment using a small, medium and large-sized balloon, testing which would hit the ground first. She says the experiments are fun because she gets to learn new things every day through participation with Ms. Dennis and her classmates.

    Fourth-grade student Julia Pratt says the classes are really fun because of the variety of daily experiments. She also stresses the importance of teamwork and communication. Students must work together to successfully complete an experiment.

    Principal Michelle Kanipes discusses the importance of hooking students' excitement at a young age, making it easier for middle and high school students to retain interest with less pushback.

    Jessica concludes in stating that if the teacher is engaged, and the students are having fun, there are more "lightbulb" moments in which the student actually learns something without realizing it. Looking forward, she sees endless opportunities for growth in the Washington Island Science department.

    Click here for more FOX 11 STEAM Stories.

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