Whitemarsh Day School’s CREATION LAB is a skill based learning program that focuses on teaching elementary aged children, ages 5-12, to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The students will work in a collaborative setting after the school day with skilled teachers on STEM/STEAM projects and Robotics. The students at Whitemarsh Day School’s CREATION LAB will work together to create, design, and build projects throughout the school year. The students will also have a chance to be involved in our family STEM projects and competitions within our community. The goal of these classes is to teach students how to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills and help them understand how it relates to real world challenges all while building confidence in our young learners.
What is STEM Education?
Photography by Annie Celine
Hello! My name is Miranda Maher and I have been an educator for the past 20 years and am convinced that I chose the best profession! I have had the most amazing teaching experiences in every grade from Pre-K through 6th grade and have had the opportunity to work with some incredible colleagues, parents, and students. Throughout my teaching career, one thing has remained constant. No matter the grade or age of the students, they always learn more when they are engaged in hands on experiences in a collaborative setting in the classroom.
When I started the preschool program at Whitemarsh Day School (WDS) several years ago, I knew that I wanted our curriculum to focus on learning through play. This would allow the children to learn in a collaborative classroom setting where real world objects took precedence over anything else. WDS has been created to do just that. Our little ones play and learn in small mixed aged (2-6) groups in our preschool program. They learn how to work together and be kind to their friends. They become problem solvers when given a challenge and work together to play, learn, and explore. The children are self-motivated and enthusiastic about learning. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced as a teacher in a classroom setting.
WHY STEM/STEAM at WDS?
Our CREATION LAB at WDS is a STEM/STEAM program for elementary aged children ages 5-12. I chose to design this type of program for one main reason. As I have said before, children learn more when they are engaged in hands on experiences in a collaborative setting in the classroom.
Our STEM Challenges will help children learn valuable critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Each week, the students in our STEM Challenges Classes will be presented with a challenge. They will have to work in small groups to plan, design, test and retest their prototype for each challenge. They will have the opportunity to compete in challenges within our own community and online with children across the world.
In our STEM Challenges Class, the students at Whitemarsh Day School’s CREATION LAB will work together to create, design, and build projects throughout the school year. The students will also have a chance to be involved in our family STEM projects and competitions within our community.
Robotics and Coding
In our Robotics Class, the students at Whitemarsh Day School’s CREATION LAB will work together on a new challenge each week learning to do simple code and graduating to coding robots to do simple tasks and eventually building robots.
During our LEGO Club, the students will complete challenges using LEGOs. They will explore design techniques, engineering principles and physics. The students will have an opportunity to compete in challenges with children fro all over the world.
During MAKERSPACE days at WDS, the students will be given a table of supplies to create something new. The instructors will guide students in the design process but this class is truly for students to have a chance to think outside the box and be creative on their own.
This is our new addition to out STEM curriculum! During our SEW STEAM class, students will create items to use and wear while they practice their beginning sewing skills.
How does this relate to STEAM?
Our students will learn:
Science: Experiment with fiber types and understand their use.
Technology: Identify the tools and equipment used in sewing.
Engineering: Use darts and gathers to add shape to a garment.
Art: Apply knowledge of color relationships when designing a project.
Math: Consider seam allowance and calculate fabric requirements.
In our STEAM ARTS class, students learn about works of art from cultures around the world, how to look at art using art vocabulary and concepts, and how to express themselves by creating their own unique masterpieces. Our year will end with an Art Show where the students will be able to display their work for the community to see!
Cooking with STEM
Preparing food is a daily part of life, which means that the learning occurs in a natural, meaningful context. During our Cooking with STEM class, our students will use many skills that are used in every day life. Measurement, patterns, chemistry, properties of matter and cause and effect, to name a few. If your child loves to create things in the kitchen, this is the class to join!
We are so excited to announce a new class on our schedule!
Laurie Kinkel with Kidding Around Yoga (KAY) will be teaching at our WDS CREATION Lab on Wednesdays from 4-4:40 for ages 5-12!
About little about KAY...
Shake, sing, and be silly while learning basic yoga poses, mindfulness, and meditation! Kidding Around Yoga (KAY) is a fun and engaging practice for young yogis. These classes are led by Laurie Kinkel, owner of Tybee Yoga, Registered Yoga Teacher and certified KAY teacher.
Challenges and Activities
Every week we will try out a new challenge. Here are a few of the skills and subjects covered during our classes.
• Engineering Design Process and STEM
• Problem Based Learning
• Problem solving
• Cooperative Learning
• Oral Presentations
• Evaluation of Projects
• Math/ addition/multiplication
• Math/ money
• Vocabulary Development
• Compare and Contrast
• Persuasive Writing and Speaking
• Persuasive Claims
• Reading/ Speaking with Expression