NDA Full STEAM Ahead for the Holidays
TYNGSBORO -- Students in the Early Years program at the Academy of Notre Dame recently explored and created STEAM projects with a Christmas twist in their Mini Makerspace.
The students, from NDA’s pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, did their part to create Christmas-related projects. Choosing topics of interest and providing opportunities for creativity and exploration is the goal of the STEAM classes for the Early Years students.
“The Mini Makerspace in the academy’s Early Years program is a wonderful space for children to explore concepts in science, technology, art, engineering and math, while capitalizing on their natural curiosity about the world around them,” said Melissa Janes, director of early-childhood education. “It provides opportunities for both teacher-directed and child-directed learning experiences.”
All students worked on engineering and building challenges, such as creating Christmas trees from plastic cups and pom-poms, and using transparent magnet tiles and bells on the light table. Each grade also participated in experiments specifically designed for the age level.
Pre-kindergarten students read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss, and demonstrated a chemical reaction by making Grinch slime.
Meanwhile, kindergarten students made predictions about the reaction of candy canes being placed in different solutions, used Christmas gift bows to explore static electricity, designed safety parachutes for Santa to bring on his sleigh using recycled and consumable materials, which they then tested, and explored chemical reactions and the concepts of dissolving and evaporation by creating two different types of crystals.