“In engineering it’s really fun seeing the kids working with their hands to reach an end goal and figure out solutions to problems that occur.” – Bonnie M, AmeriCorps member
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Through hands-on activities we engage students in the engineering design process which centers on planning, creating and improving. Students develop persistence in problem solving and understand that our projects won’t always go as planned, that we should learn from our mistakes and try again. Whatever the focus of the class, we take advantage of opportunities to introduce our students to new technology and show them that science can be fun.
“I like the [STEM] curriculum, mainly because I feel that there are so many different directions it can go. The kids really like it.” Teal J, 2nd year AmeriCorps member
At 4-H CAPITAL our STEM classes have included Engineering, Robotics, Rocketry, Maker Space and Coding. Our instructors have taught the basics of civil engineering by building a green city. Others have focused on electrical engineering, building small contraptions such as “robocups” or bugs that move using the vibrations from small electric motors. Students are encouraged to observe the world around them, thinking about how people created the things we enjoy on a daily basis. They learn to work together, finding ways to use their own skills and ideas to further improve our lives. 4-H CAPITAL STEM classes give students the foundation and the freedom to be imaginative and try new things.
“Maker Space gives kids a chance to create whatever their minds can think up! It interests me because the world of electronics is not a familiar world to me; however we are doing projects where we can deconstruct items and learn how to make them useful again! So cool!” Liz G, AmeriCorps member
Example Unit Plans
Here are just a few examples of the many concepts our instructors explore with our STEM curriculum at 4-H CAPITAL. These abbreviated Unit Plans show how lessons connect concepts and build toward a culminating activity.
“I love that I have been given so much support while developing a chemistry-related STEM course for second graders; the age seems daunting, but I push through in hopes that I will inspire them to enjoy chemistry as much as I do now.” Jayna L, AmeriCorps member