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Welcome to DCS STEM!

Welcome to the DCS STEM homepage.

On this page, you can learn about STEM class, see student projects, and discover what students in different sections of class are exploring.

Take a look at our class principles below -- these ideas guide our work in all of our STEM activities.
Recent posts

Third & Fourth Graders Embrace Challenges!

After reviewing our STEM class mindsets, 3rd and 4th graders attempted to create a tower that could hold a Lego minifigure (in a cup) up as high as possible. Working in teams, students had to problem-solve to make efficient use of their limited materials.

Despite starting with the same basket of materials, teams used very different approaches to the challenge. Check out some of their techniques below.

Second Grade Imagines Possibilities!

This week, second grade students began learning about our five STEM class mindsets. These mindsets -- represented by the acronym "IDEAS" -- describe the dispositions we try to cultivate in order to be successful in STEM class.

Our first mindset is "Imagine Possibilities." Students learned that this mindset is about generating lots of different ideas and recognizing that we can use materials in a variety of ways to make things and solve problems. During the activity portion of class, the second graders worked in small groups to create something from a basket of assorted materials. When groups shared, we noticed that each team invented something different and that there are many possible creations that can be devised from a common set of materials.

Check out some of their work below!

Week One STEM Snapshots!

We've had a busy first week in the STEM Lab! Younger students are working on learning what STEM is and practicing some of our routines, while older students have jumped right into projects with LittleBits and 3D printing.

Here a few photos from our first days of school.

4th Grade Recycled Racers!

Our 4th grade students finished the year by designing cars made from recycled materials. This challenge required lots of tinkering and iterating, particularly to create a functioning set of wheels and axles. Check out a few of our final designs below!

Bubbling with Excitement!

For their final project of the year, 5th and 6th graders have been exploring properties of bubbles and bubble wands. After experimenting with manufactured wands, students then created their own wands using a variety of materials, including screen, popsicle sticks, wire, rubber bands, straws, and paper clips. Following the testing of their created wands, students then used 3D modeling software to design and 3D print a bubble wand.

1st Grade Creates Bird Feeders!

Over the past several weeks, our first grade students have been designing and building bird feeders using recycled materials. 
In creating their feeders, students had to meet three success criteria.
1. The feeder must have a way to attach to a tree branch. 2. The feeder must have a way to put bird seed inside.  3. The feeder must have a way for the birds to access the food.
This week, we put some of our bird feeders out onto our trail. We hope the birds are enjoying the feast!

5th and 6th Grade Design Suspension Bridges

5th and 6th grade classes have been working on creating models of suspension bridges. Teams were tasked with creating a model that could span a gap of 18 inches and aimed to create a suspension system that was an integral part of the strength of the design. Teams were also limited in their materials to popsicle sticks, cardboard, hot glue, and string. Check out the many different designs students created in response to this prompt.