Fall festival at Lucy T. Davis reinforces STEAM

October 3, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – From building candy corn catapults to constructing aluminum foil boats, students at Lucy T. Davis Elementary School took part in STEAM-based activities Tuesday evening during the Fall STEAM Fest.

According to Erika Hartman, a fourth-grade teacher at Lucy T. Davis, said this is the first year the annual fall fest included STEAM-based activities.

“This is where a lot of the job market is going, we feel, and STEAM education is important for our students and their future success,” Hartman said. “Not only that, but it also engages them in subjects like science and math.”

Community organizations set up activities in various classrooms throughout the school, such as the South Carolina Governor’s School for Mathematics and Science (GSSM), Lynches River County Park and Science South.

“I knew I wanted there to be community involvement, because we have a lot of STEAM-based fields in Florence,” Hartman said.

Irene Middleton, the outreach programs director at GSSM, said the school is active in the community, teaching children of all ages about STEM programs.

“We encourage STEM at all levels,” Middleton said. “We try to encourage and inspire STEM in students as young as kindergarten. So, we try to reach the K-12 population. The sooner you get them hooked on STEM, the more likely they are to stay with it.”

GSSM provided activities for students, such as building a paper bridge, using a Makey Makey system and building an aluminum foil boat.

One parent – Cinda Barrett, who is also a school-based counselor at Lucy T. Davis – said she came to the Fall Steam Fest because she tries to expose her children to STEAM ideas every chance she can get.

“It helps them to understand that science is everywhere; it’s all around us,” Barrett said.

During the STEAM event, the school hosted a “Pumpkin Punch” raffle where students could punch tissue paper in a bowl to win a prize. The school also hosted a car-line raffle for parents to skip the car line for the rest of the year.

The proceeds from the raffles will go toward purchasing robotics and STEAM kits for Lucy T. Davis.

At the beginning of the event, third- and fourth-graders performed musical pieces, and the school held its Title One and PTO meetings.

One activity, building candy pumpkin structures, took part in the Makerspace Lab, which is new to Lucy T. Davis. The lab provides children with a chance to learn through STEAM-based projects, such as 3D printing and engineering projects.

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