Third graders at The Hewitt School took on electrical inventions as their class project for Lower School STEM week in January; not only did their creations surprise their teachers and many of their visiting parent helpers, but everyone had a lot of fun in the process.
The initial goal was to understand how a circuit works. First, the students were challenged to get a motor running and a light bulb to turn on; 15 minutes later: done. And 30 minutes after that, they were displaying helicopters, blenders, nail drying machines, mobiles, kinetic sculptures, and more.
“I must say the girls had an amazing ability to think out of the box in terms of their inventions,” said their teacher, Elise Liebman. “It was a tremendous amount of learning…with little instruction. They learned as they created.”
Hewitt recognizes that, in many ways, children are born scientists, and it’s the school’s job to nurture and build on that natural inquisitiveness and tenacity, putting each student at the center of the scientific process. In grades K-3, a science specialist works alongside homeroom teachers, so students are always encouraged to make observations, formulate meaningful questions, and design their own experiments, using a range of hands on—and “minds-on”—activities. It appears this training paid off during their Lower School STEM Week.