What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. At Dimon, we have a strong STEM focus and have become the 51st STEM-certified school through the state of Georgia. "It is a process for teaching and learning that offers students opportunities to make sense of the world and take charge of their learning, rather than learning isolated bits and pieces of content." (Education.com). In other words, students do a lot more hands-on learning in order to build their own understanding.
Along with these STEM activities that come during the teaching of standards, students will begin working on problems with our ecosystem. Students in all grades will be collecting data on weather, plants, birds, and more. They will find a problem, then develop a solution using the Design Engineering process. Solutions will not come easily or quickly, so students will have to remain steadfast as they develop a hypothesis to solve the issues at hand.
Each March, we hold our annual STEAM Day. On this day there will be many different presenters that share information about how STEAM affects their career or different STEAM activities that will be presented. Students will journal throughout the day what they learned. Classes have also had the opportunity to listen to a meteorologist, participate in a job fair, truck day, and lessons in robotics. If you have any questions, email Mr. Jacob Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the school at 706-683-8772 and leave a message for Mr. Elliott.
Think of the ways STEM is used in your daily life!
This year, watch us as we work to get STEAM certified through the state of Georgia. What is the difference between STEAM and STEM? The "A," of course! In STEAM, the Arts are integrated into daily activities with students. This year, we have partnered with the Springer Opera House to bring the P.A.I.R. program to Dimon. Teachers and students learn ways to integrate body movements into the lessons to help students remember important facts. We will also have an in-house residency from an artist and an author courtesy of the RiverCenter throughout this school year. We now have dance classes being offered to students each 9 weeks in one grade level. Our music and art teachers will also help teachers integrate art and music lessons into the classroom, so that art and music won't just be a "specials" class. One day a month, we will have "club day," where students will participate and learn about something that they otherwise might not have had the chance to do. We look forward to the challenge of adding the Arts to our curriculum!
Dimon continues to create a STEM culture through the interdisciplinary integration of STEM by promoting the use of inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving and continuous reflection. Teachers are involved in ongoing collaborative lesson planning. Technology, math strategies, science inquiry and the engineering process are integrated across content areas into daily lesson plans. We support teachers by giving collaborative time to support grade level teachers as they plan projects. These projects engage the students in real-world problems and allow them to experiment, gather data and evidence, test solutions and make revisions as they make the world a better place.
At the end of the year students will be surveyed to find out their opinions about the STEM components, the engineering design processes, and the real-world connections they learned this year. Information gained from their surveys can be used to develop ideas to improve instruction next year. The administration will continue to provide professional development opportunities for all staff members, such as observing other teachers, using social media to share ideas, visiting other STEM schools, and attending and hosting STEM conferences.
Students participate in STEM to foster an important part of learning and collaborative problem solving. Technology is integrated into the students daily and is used as a means to acquire and demonstrate knowledge while developing effective communication skills. Students are given the opportunity to participate in STEM related clubs outside of school hours to further develop the love for STEM. Science Fairs, STEM Nights, Technology Fairs and Robotics Competitions are regular events that allow the STEM culture to be shared with the community. Business Partners and Community members have helped us create our STEM culture. Currently Bloomers Lawn and Garden, Flat Rock Sand and Gravel, Home Depot and Tampa Bay Wholesale Foliage continue to assist us through monetary donations, resources, and time spent working with our students. We are purposeful to share our experiences by posting pictures on social media, our school website, storyboards and sending out newsletters via e-flyers. We continue to look for ways to improve and grow in our STEM instruction. We believe that this is the only mindset we can have if we are to equip our students to achieve their potential.
Culture Created and Maintained
Part of being a STEM-certified school, is to do a yearlong project where students will collect data on a continual basis. They will take the data and analyze to find any problems. Then students will focus on finding solutions to these problems. Our focus as a school is agricultural in nature for each grade level. Our theme has changed from "How does your garden grow?" to "Ecological Engineering: Sustainability for the Next Generation." Instead of focusing on just agriculture, we are now shifting our focus to how organisms affect our environment and how we can live in harmony while creating a prosperous outcome for our world. If you are interested in helping us out or know of a business that might want to help, please let us know! email@example.com Each grade has a different project that they work on throughout the year.
Kindergarten- Urban Gardening, how can we grow fruits and vegetables with limited space?
First Grade- What can we do with community helpers to help our ecosystem?
Second Grade-How can we use the seasonal climate to our advantage?
Third Grade- Compost, how can we cut down on waste by creating a successful way to compost.
Fourth Grade- Eco-pond, creating a sustainable ecosystem using a pond.
Fifth- Microorganisms, how can we use microorganisms to help plant life grow more abundantly?
National Weather Service for kids. Perfect for our year-long STEM focus!
A fun website for kids. This specific link will take you to an Interactive Weather Maker.
At Dimon, we have had a strong partnership with "Let's Grow STEAM," a locally-based non-profit. Click on the picture to find out more about Let's Grow STEAM.