STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is an approach to teaching in which students become innovators, solving real world problems through design. As students work to create solutions, they gain skills and knowledge in all academic disciplines, and also learn effective collaboration and critical thinking skills.
Careers for women in these fields are available. Visitation Academy is committed to preparing our girls for paths that lead to success, independence, and self-confidence – now and in their future.
The Visitation Academy Lower School and Middle School participate in an annual STEM Expo in which students share their collaborative class projects. All projects provide students with the opportunity to understand and apply the Scientific Method, to ask and answer questions, and to explore practical solutions to local and global problems through science and other disciplines.
2019 STEM Projects
STEM PROGRAM 2019
2018-2019 STEM/STEAM/STREAM PROJECTS
- Demonstrated the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research.
- Became proficient in using technology for learning.
- Established an awareness of citizenship and other cultures.
- Developed a solution for a problem.
- Interpreted and communicated data and information.
- Incorporated the Arts to develop a deeper understanding of an unfamiliar culture/topic.
- Engineering: Used raw materials to solve a problem including: a protective covering for a chrysalis, insulation, sturdy trap, habitats, water filter, desalination device.
From Caterpillar to Butterfly
Steam for Nursery is about providing multisensory experiences in STEM. Seeing, hearing, and touching are all part of learning experiences. Using different shape pastas children show the life cycle of a butterfly.
Essential Question: How does food help caterpillars to grow? How do we protect a chrysalis?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
Science Objective – Living things need protection for growth: Children built a protective covering for chrysalis using a paper roll.
Math: Sequencing 1, 2, 3, and 4
The Tundra/ Arctic Animals
Essential Question: How do animals keep warm in the Tundra? What types of animals roam this unique region of the world?
The walrus, penguin, seal, and polar bear have special adaptations that allow them to survive the frozen tundra. Blubber helps these animals from getting too cold.
Science Objective: To understand the insulating property of blubber, the students tested the properties of insulating fat through a hands-on experiment using ice and Crisco.
Arctic & Antarctic by Barbara Taylor
Animals of The Tundra: Baby Professor
Videos: Exploring the Arctic for Kids: Arctic Animals and Climates
Essential Question: How can we catch a Leprechaun? Students designed and built a trap to lure and capture a leprechaun.
Math: Students measured and counted objects.
Science/Engineering: Students used their understanding of primary and secondary colors to mix colors for their trap; students used their understanding of simple machines to create a functional trap.
Technology: Students took a virtual tour of Ireland.
Social Studies: Students learned about Ireland, Irish Folktales and St. Patrick.
How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
The Littlest Leprechaun by Brandi Dougherty
Ireland and St. Patrick by National Geographic Kids Website
The Night Before Saint Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing
Essential Question: How do different habitats provide basic needs for living things?
Researched the difference between living and nonliving things. Identified and described various habitats. Created a chart showing the different environmental conditions living things might find in these habitats. Skill development: Working in groups, listening to others, reading nonfiction books, and presenting a topic (communication skill)
Technology: Using a Smartboard, students researched habitats and documented information using a graphic organizer.
Engineering: Created a shoebox diorama of a habitat using materials such as clay, popsicle sticks, and grass.
Students presented and displayed their shoebox habitat. 1st grade invited other classes to explore our habitats
Essential Question: What makes slime gooey?
Students identified and analyzed the key components of making slime.
Process Journal: To record hypothesis, observations, conclusions and a graphic organizer.
Engineering: Used raw materials and turning them into useful products.
Math: measure and combine ingredients.
Literacy: Horrible Harry and The Green Slime by Suzy Kline – Students were able to research slime and explore its components.
As a starting point, students read the following literature.
My Great Grandmother’s Gourd by Cristina Kessler
Water Dance by Thomas Locker
Our study included viewing sites online to observe areas which do not have drinking water.
Essential Question: How can you purify non potable water and create potable water?
Scientific Method: Our process was to purify the “dirty” water 3 times, each time adding another purifying element. We tested the “dirty” water at the onset and after each of the 3 testing points.
Math: Used linear measurement to cut the bottles, liquid measurement for amounts of water and
for the same exact measurements of the materials.
Engineering: Used raw materials and turned them into useful products.
Grade 4 STREAM
Build a solar-powered desalination device to change saltwater into clean drinkable water.
Essential Question: Science Can we change saltwater like ocean water into drinkable water using a solar-powered desalination process?
Engineering: Students build a desalination device.
Math: Documenting dimensions of the container of yielded clean water, average yield based on conducting experiment 3 times, and the comparison of the white container and the black container
Technology: Used internet for research, photographed /videoed the experiment process. Created a power point presentation.
Religion: Explored virtue of gratitude for natural resources and availability of water.
Engineering: Used raw materials to solve a problem.
Created models of villages and structures that could withstand erosion.
Essential Questions: How can we build to avoid effects of erosion? Which materials did you use to reduce erosion? Why did you choose those materials? Where did the greatest amount of erosion occur? Was your device successful under all conditions? How do you know? What changes did you make to your device after testing? Why did you make those changes? Group presentation
Essential Question: How to encourage people to reduce, reuse, and recycle?
The 6th graders were a part of an Earth Day reduce, reuse, recycle project and a unit on Newton’s law.
Cell City Project
Essential Question: How is a cell similar to a city?
Floating around in the cytoplasm of a cell are small structures called organelles. Like the organs in one’s own body, each one carries out a specific function necessary for the cell to survive. In order to survive, the cell must be able to interact with its surroundings, use energy, produce materials and manage waste.
You will create a poster that compares a living plant cell and its organelles to a city, school, factory, ballpark, etc. The place you choose must use energy, produce substances and manage waste. The organelles will represent the parts of your place that carry out these processes.
Using Technology for a science research, rubric based project – including bibliography.
Task: Researched a volcanos history including geographical coordinates for location. Used checklist and guidelines to focus research. Created an original Power Point presentation and either a 3-dimensional model or poster. Rubric and guidelines were available on class website.
Architectural Drawings ART
1 – Explored a variety of buildings and their purposes
2 – Learned that buildings are works of art
3 – Developed drawing skills
4 – Worked with color and mixed media
5 – Studied the importance of math and mathematical tools used in Art
1 – City door with rectangular steps using crayons
2 – Country house with roof angles using black permanent markers
3 – Architectural elements of a
castle /designed castles with cylinders and rectangles using metallic markers
4 – City skyline with rectangles and triangles using watercolor paint
Middle States – Sustaining Excellence Protocol
The 3 r’s have been replaced by the three c’s for 21st Century competencies.
STEM ( project based learning)
* critical thinking
Additional c’s – creativity (innovation), cross cultural competence.
Congratulations to our students who consistently meet and exceed Common Core Standards testing.
||NYS Science 4
Percentage of students achieving and exceeding competency
|NYS Science 8
Percentage of students achieving and exceeding competency
||NYS Living Environmental Regents – advanced High School curriculum
Percentage of students achieving and exceeding proficiency.