What if you were tasked to build a mechanical device that could move an object in two dimensions – both vertically and horizontally? Would you know where to begin?
With the support of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) based programs, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) knew that their K-8th grade students would be up for the challenge. The STEM Program, which is funded in part through Dun & Bradstreet EdAhead donations, allows groups of young students the opportunity to work on an array of complex projects, with some pretty incredible results. Dorothy Kiniti and Stephen Shirk from Dun & Bradstreet were given the opportunity to visit a few of the schools to see just what the students were up to and check out some of these complex projects. Read on to hear more about how EdAhead funding is being put to use in the Santa Monica-Malibu area:
From left to right; Linda Greenberg (Executive Director, Santa Monica-Malibu Education Fund), Gretchen McLaughlin (English Language Arts, SMMUSD), Dorothy Kiniti (Marketing Operations Manager, Dun & Bradstreet), Marianna O’Brien (Science, SMMUSD), Dr. Suzanne Webb (Principal, SMMUSD)
Lincoln Middle School
At Lincoln Middle School, students were given six weeks to create a formal experiment proposal that included an abstract, rationale, experimental design, experimental procedures, and a citation page.
Throughout the course of the program, students utilized the process of discovery as a teaching tool, learning from their mistakes as well as their successes. They also developed advanced communication skills to help explain their scientific ideas to the experiment selection committees. To facilitate the development of those skills, the school created a core program that partners science and english lessons.
Students at Lincoln Middle School
At the end of six weeks, over 80 experiment proposals were submitted to the Review Committee, which consisted of local community members. The winning proposal, entitled the “Paper Chromatography Experiment,” was created to help determine whether chromatography could be performed in microgravity, and discover how the process may differ from when it is performed on earth. The experiment was then sent to the International Space Station on June 19th, 2015, from the Kennedy Space Center.
The winning team of 8th grade students included Samuel Buckley-Bonanno, Adam Chamas, Charlie Gooding and Shrayes Raman.
John Muir Elementary
The Exploratory collaborated with John Muir Elementary on a K-5 curriculum designed to engage learning experiences that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) subjects. The program gives an early start at exposing young students to STEM-related programs and gives them an opportunity to use their curiosity and intelligence to compete in problem solving tasks. Thanks to their partnership with The Exploratory, an eight-week design lab helped prepare children for challenges through its “Tinker.Make.Innovate” philosophy.
The students at John Muir were tasked with exploring simple machines and gear systems to create a self-operating machine that could share a story about a person that made a difference in history. The program would otherwise not be possible without the generous donations of families, communities and businesses within the community.
From left to right; Susie Parks (Parent), Kristina London (5th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), Tina Pezzotta (PlanetBravo), Dorothy Kiniti (Marketing Operations Manager), Karen Verham (5th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), (Lori Rose (4th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), Linda Greenberg (Executive Director, SMMEF), Ann Conkle (Communications and Events Manager, SMMEF), Jordan Norman (PlanetBravo) Front Row: Amanda Park (Student)
Point Dume Marine Science School and Webster Elementary
PlanetBravo partnered with Point Dume and Webster Elementary to deliver a formal technology curriculum that integrated common core standards for Math and Language Arts in their computer labs. The PlanetBravo instructors worked with the students on a weekly basis covering relevant computer topics.
Students have benefited from PlanetBravo in many ways, including the expansion of their digital knowledge through lessons in technology and problem solving. Every year, PlanetBravo helps to enhance children’s futures by teaching them to learn and build something new. By the time the students are in middle school, they are already well versed in Google Apps, are able to create documents and spreadsheets, and are comfortable understanding web etiquette, with the invaluable knowledge that their digital footprint stays with them forever.
These school programs were funded thanks to the contributions made by the EdAhead initiative. The $100,000 grant made to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) by Dun & Bradstreet was allocated to comprehensive programs such as this,designed to improve student achievement and success from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade.
EdAhead® is a revolutionary program designed to stress the importance of education for the future of America’s business success. By uniting employees and employers in contributing to students’ preparation for college, helping fund college savings, and improving local schools, EdAhead is an investment in student’s futures for personal success, community well being, and global prosperity.
The EdAhead program is a welcome bridge between saving today for education tomorrow, and it’s not just for parents. Any employee can be a steward of a child’s educational opportunity. We encourage any and every company to join our commitment to the importance of education to a shared future of leadership and strength.
For more about Dun & Bradstreet, visit: http://www.dnb.com.