As we prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing technology-based society, the learning environment is evolving at K.C. Ling Elementary. Students are being provided new and engaging learning experiences that are intended to get them excited about the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). New this school year, students in grades K-4 attend a weekly STEAM class. During this time, students engage in hands-on activities that encourage risk-taking.
According to STEAM teacher Emily Schmidt, “Students come to class full of questions and ideas about the challenge that they are given each week. It is wonderful to see students engaging in discussions and working together to come up with innovative solutions for each engineering or technological challenge they are presented.”
From the addition of a STEAM class to after-school robotic programs, K.C. Ling students are learning first-hand the importance of problem-solving and collaboration, with additional opportunities for students to engage in the engineering process. One of these programs is, FIRST Lego League Jr. (FLLJr). This is a program designed for Kindergarten – 3rd grade students. K.C. Ling Elementary will field four FLLJr robotics teams. Students will learn about water as an important resource, find out where the water that they use in their daily life comes from, and what happens to it during its journey to them. 4th graders participate in FIRST Lego League (FLL). The FLL season is all about water – how we find, transport, use, and dispose of it. One particular theme will be the “human water cycle” and how it affects each child’s life.
Teacher and robotics coach Stephanie Dunton said, “Robotics not only teaches students the engineering process, but it also teaches them to work together to research and solve real-world problems.”
Another new addition this year is our MakerSpace Club. This afterschool program intends to teach interested students how to use new technology, like Spheros, Ozobots, Dash robots, and drones to learn the basics of coding.
When asked about student engagement in this program, 4th grade teacher Brent Eaton stated, “Students love the interactive activities in MakerSpace, as well as the new technology they get to use. The students can’t wait to come to MakerSpace each week.”
The type of learning happening at K.C. Ling Elementary is not only exciting for students but also teachers and administrators.
Principal Lori Gensch added, “Student engagement is at an all-time high. From kindergarteners to 4th graders, students are actively involved in the learning process, thinking creatively to solve problems, and collaborating with their peers. It’s an exciting time to be a Huskie!”