ST1.8

ST1.8: STEM learning outcomes demonstrate students’ STEM literacy necessary for the next level of STEM learning and for post-secondary and workforce readiness.

OES learners and educators are working toward understanding and applying STEM learning within the classroom and beyond.  Since we have begun implementing STEM practices, students have been given multiple opportunities to participate in a variety of before and after school clubs.  We have seen an increase of student participation and student interest.  Documentation will be retained to verify this increase in participation.   

There are numerous tools used at Okatie to move students to the next level of their STEM learning: Foss Kits, a focus on informational texts, Science-based field trips, inquiry-based learning, guided math instruction, instructional software and applications, and the Science Lab as part of our Related Arts instruction.  SC PASS and NWEA MAP results indicate growth in the areas of science, social studies, and math, closing the achievement gap in underrepresented groups for 2013-14 and 2014-15.  Further data collection over the year will be used to measure the impact of the STEM related learning to standardized testing.

OES students are engaged in science and engineering practices beginning in kindergarten.  Science inquiry and process are supported by integrated units, intentional vocabulary instruction, performance tasks at all grade levels and school-wide participation in the Science Fair.  Scientific investigations through the use of FOSS kits enable students to actually explore, record findings in their interactive notebooks, and reflect on the results.  Investigations integrate and differentiate hands-on learning experiences across the curriculum.  These elements support effective instruction in science, reading, and writing as students interact with authentic inquiries and problems.

Likewise, the mathematics curriculum embraces learning math through a problem-solving approach.  Everyday Mathematics encourages students to apply their mathematical thinking through real-world connections. This program is consistently used throughout the school, beginning with the pre-kindergarten students.

Additional instruction, supporting the increase in STEM literacy, is the school-wide introduction to coding.  This began with the “Hour of Code” participation in 2014.  Expansion of coding began in 2015 through specific vocabulary instruction, integration and application of mathematical concepts, and guided practice.  This school year, instruction will be expanded to include a more in-depth understanding of the use of coding in engineering and science.  Instruction in the Science Lab gives students additional opportunities to apply coding skills using OzBots (K-1), Lego We Dos, (2-3), and Lego Mindstorms (3-5).

 


light table
 Light tables can be used for literacy, math, music, writing, and science.  Students are naturally drawn to the glow of the table and are often calmed by the visual stimulation as they explore the center and light table manipulatives. 
gears

Gears are used to introduce young learners to simple machines and challenge their spatial intelligence and problem solving skills with gear games. Students make connections to real-world objects that are controlled with gears.



 coding




There are opportunities to learn basic computer programming (coding) in which students engage in activities designed to express individual ideas and creativity in new and unique ways.

 

 

coding

Using Touch Cast software, students work closely with the computer lab teacher to create the daily news cast program, which is viewed in all classrooms. The Touch Cast platform provides real world exposure to the field of broadcast journalism.

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