There’s a new way of teaching in town. Long gone are the days of lecturing, “One times two is two, one times three is three, one times four is four.”
In its first year as a STEM school, Lincoln Heights is focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as new ways to teach subjects.
The teachers and students will have the chance to show off that new learning Feb. 26 during STEM night at the school from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
“Whether your kids come here or not, we want you to come,” Lincoln Heights STEM Coordinator Erica Neville said. “This will be a snapshot.”
Each grade level will showcase their work, from the kindergarteners designing strong houses for the three little pigs to the fourth graders creating their own roller coasters. There will be many lessons on display along with family-friendly activities.
The third graders will show off their knowledge of the working human leg.
“It really is an interactive family night,” Neville said.
The problem-based learning helps students break down real world problems and gives them ownership of their education. Neville said they’re “finding solutions to their own problems” with the engineering design process.
The second graders will have their class quilt out for parents to see at STEM night.
Second grade teacher Jessica Ricci said she had to teach her students about various cultures through arts and how to accept differences. The quilting project brought both lessons together.
“We were really bringing in their cultures,” Ricci said. “They came up with all the ideas themselves.”
The lesson also tied in learning about timelines because the students decided to layout their individual squares in order by birthdate.
The teachers use STEM to blur the lines between all the different subjects and they’re able to be in roles more as facilitators than lesson drivers.
Second grade teacher Annette Steele said she likes to remove herself from the conversation altogether to see how the students bounce ideas off each other.
“They can completely take ownership of it,” she said. “It’s loud. It’s noisy. It’s fun.”
And teachers aren’t just having students answer questions. They also have to justify why they answered the way they did.
“That’s really stretching their cognitive ability,” Ricci said.
Neville said it’s those kinds of lessons that are preparing students for the rigid course load of middle school and the real world as a whole right from the start.
“Our teachers are rocking it in the classroom,” Neville said.
The school is focused on environmental studies, using the STEM education. Already, the school utilizes the 200 iPads it received as part of the STEM program and Neville hopes to eventually have a STEM lab.
“We’re laying down a foundation of STEM,” she said.
Along with that foundation of STEM in the classroom, the school is broadening its outreach to the community. Partnerships with businesses like John Deere are stronger now because of opportunities like the STEM career day.
Want to check out the STEM program? The Lincoln Heights STEM night is open to the public. Lincoln Heights Elementary is located at 307 Bridge St. in Fuquay. To find out more, contact Erica Neville at email@example.com or 919-557-2590.
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.