S.T.E.M. for All Young Learners
At American Academy, we know that S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum prepares students for the specific technical skills necessary for 21st century success. But we also know that the S.T.E.M. education environment is perfect for learning life skills like team work, independent and structured problem-solving, and character traits like perseverance, responsibility and courage.
Science or S.T.E.M. Discovery Every Day
The goal of American Academy's K-5 S.T.E.M. Discovery curriculum is to introduce our youngest students to the skills, concepts and S.T.E.M. fields of study and careers using age-appropriate lessons, challenges and tools, and to encourage curiosity while building confidence. Students in full-day Kindergarten through grade 5 have six weeks each of dedicated S.T.E.M. Discovery curriculum led by specifically-trained S.T.E.M. instructors. These S.T.E.M. curriculum units take the place of regular science curriculum when scheduled, and students attend with their daily science classmates.
Building a S.T.E.M. Foundation
During S.T.E.M. Discovery curriculum units, K-5 students build a solid foundation of specific technical skills as well as the habits of mind for thinking critically, learning continuously, and for preparing, testing and improving solutions to all types of problems in S.T.E.M. as well as other disciplines. Students learn to use science knowledge for background research, technology as a tool to find answers and solutions, the engineering design process to efficiently solve problems, and data analysis to examine ideas critically.
S.T.E.M. Discovery classes cover a wide variety of concepts and skills over the years, including:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Coding and programming
- Engineering Design Process
What do these big ideas look like as S.T.E.M. lessons for K-5 students? We make sure they look like fun.
Students work in pairs or on teams during their S.T.E.M. Discovery projects to learn about teamwork and collaboration. Kindergartners design and build sails for small "boats' to test the effectiveness of materials and shapes. First graders use the engineering design process to refine the taste and texture of a baked cake and accompany enthusiastic and knowledgeable seventh graders during a marine animal dissection. Second graders learn to use animation software to create stop motion videos and to program LEGO’s WeDo
robots. Third graders take robot programming to the next level with LEGO and Sphero
and fourth graders build and design circuit using LittleBits
. Fifth graders learn more advanced hand-typed coding for more precise control over a robot. And all though all K-5 students will have the valuable experience of frustration during their S.T.E.M. Discovery units, they will also come away with invaluable lessons about grit and determination.
Elementary students wanting to experience and learn more about S.T.E.M. subjects and challenges may enroll in S.T.E.M. extracurriculars throughout the year. Watch the school newsletters and check the School Store
for more information as registrations open and S.T.E.M. extracurricular opportunities become available!