Maryville Christian creates STEM club
By Matthew Stewart| (email@example.com)
After finding success with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) enrichment camp this summer, Maryville Christian School has created a STEM club for its students.
In June, nearly 60 rising first- through sixth-graders participated in Camp Invention. The enrichment camp was held at Maryville Christian School.
School officials recently created Club Invention, an afterschool program that allows children to learn through hands-on activities. The curricula, which was developed by Invent Now and educators, aligns with national and state standards.
Club Invention has 22 available spots, which are open to kindergartners through sixth-graders on a first-come, first-serve basis, for each five-week module, said sponsor Wendy Coppedge. School officials plan to offer five or six modules each year.
Students are getting ready to complete the first module, she said. The teacher will start the second module after fall break.
“I’m very pleased with Club Invention,” Coppedge said. “The kids are excited, and it’s really got them thinking about these concepts. Club Invention is less structured than the classroom, and we don’t have right or wrong answers. They can just discover.”
Parent volunteer Suzanne Jump agreed with the teacher’s assessment. “Club Invention is awesome. The kids are excited. They really liked to create the board games last week, and each group came up with different ideas. They need these opportunities to think outside the box. It’s very beneficial to their overall development.”
The mother of two club members also liked that students are being paired with children of all ages. Jump’s first-grader has worked with a fifth-grader.
She hopes Club Invention will stimulate an interest in the STEM fields for her two children.
Broke some eggs
Students have enjoyed their first couple weeks in the club.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said third-grader Cara Huskey. “We get to make things and use them. However, we only have a certain amount of materials to make them. It’s really challenging, and it’s really fun.”
The student’s favorite activity was designing durable containers for a 4-foot egg drop. “We didn’t make the best one. We broke two eggs.”
Huskey also likes meeting new students. “It’s really fun to get in groups with people you don’t know. I’ve made some new friends.”
“It’s just fun to work things out,” said fourth-grader Jacob Cheek. “We’ve done all kinds of really fun experiments. You don’t even think about doing them, because you’re having such a good time.”
The student’s favorite activity was making an hourglass. “We poured salt into funnels and tried to get the right amount for a 10-second timer. After we got it, we had to make it exactly five seconds.”
Cheek also liked designing his own board game. “We called our game, ‘Blow the Marbles.’ We made a tunnel with a race track. You had to blow marbles through obstacles, and the first person to do it would win.”
He’s looking forward to future modules. “I can’t wait to do more physical science, or learn more about how the body works. I’m really into anatomy.”