In September of 2010, President Barack Obama announced the “Change the Equation” initiative.  This initiative seeks to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M) education to better prepare students to lead in the 21st century economy.

On February 17th and 18th, a Michigan based company called All About Learning (http://www.allaboutlearning.co/default.php) ,  visited Carrolltowne Elementary School’s  4th and 5th grade students for an in-school Field trip called LEGO S.T.E.M.  “Student Engineers” learned about simple machines and their real-world applications.

Working in pairs, students built a race car utilizing gears, wheels an axle, and a motor.  They then raced the cars relay-style, and regrouped to discuss concepts of speed variance such as weight, aerodynamics, and horsepower.  Students then had time to modify their car for a second race, giving them a chance to improve the design of their car based on what they learned in the discussion on speed variance.

This program used LEGO kits full of parts and pieces, called LEGO elements, which are not available in stores.  The children learned about engineering concepts as they applied to these LEGO elements.  This in-school field trip, coordinated by the PTA, covered four main academic areas:  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  The fifth area it covered was FUN!

Submitted byVicki Pellicciotti


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