STEAM Fair 2018

By Heidi Blokland

Our annual STEM Fair had one small change this year: We added an A! This year, our STEAM Fair included Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math!

The day began with opening devotions in the gym, and then the students were sent off in their Kingdom Building Groups to one of five stations:

Bridge Building:

Working in groups of 4 or 5, students worked with straws to construct bridges over a span of 30 cm. They learned that triangles have a lot of strength and worked to incorporate triangles into their design.

Snap Circuits:

Students learned the basics of circuits, switches and outputs and worked through several challenges with our Snap Circuit sets. The flying saucers were a hit!

A LIttle Bit of Art:

We used our Little Bit sets to combine technology and art. Students build a simple circuit that included a spinning fan. Attaching a piece of cardstock to the spinning fan, students created their own little art pieces. They combined them to make a collaborative art piece with their group.

The Science of Slime:

Here we discussed the three states of matter, and how slime doesn’t really fit into any of them! Then we learned about the long polymers that make up glue, and how when we add borax, the borate ions connect the glue molecules to each other, resulting in sticky slime. Then we had a chance to get dirty as each student made their own batch of slime, and got to take it home with them at the end of the day.

Powering Cars:

At this station, students were able to explore three different ways to make their toy cars move. There was a track set up with cars with magnets attached. Using other magnets, students had to push the cars along the track. We also had a whole lot of lego pieces and wheels, and students made lego cars to put down a ramp, or do adapt so that there was a balloon attached to them. By blowing up the balloon and releasing it, the cars were powered… some flying far distances!

Spending the whole morning with their mixed-age groups was a great way for students to connect with students of other ages. During their snack time, and some free exploration time afterwards, we heard and saw students conversing, building, trying new games and challenges, and developing their leadership skills.

And what did the students say about they learned at the STEAM Fair:

  • I learned that toy cars can be powered by balloons.
  • I learned how to make slime! It’s really cool how the borax connects the tiny molecules.
  • I learned that when you see bridges they often are made of triangles because triangles are more stable.
  • We built bridges out of straw and ours was able to hold a toy car!
  • When we did snap circuits I learned that electricity travels in circles and if the snap circuits are not in a circle it will not work.

It was a great day of engagement, collaboration, innovation and joy!