St. Edmond receives STEM grant

First-graders to benefit during the 2018-19 school year

By CHAD THOMPSON

cthompson@messengernews.net

First-graders at St. Edmond Catholic School next year will be able to further their understanding of science thanks to a STEM grant recently awarded to them by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and the Science Center of Iowa.

St. Edmond was recently awarded the Pint Size Science STEM grant for the 2018-19 school year.

According to Jennifer Kinney, the school’s director of marketing, Pint Size Science introduces students to STEM topics through discovery learning.

“Using a hands-on approach that engages and inspires young minds to explore scientific phenomena, the program works to not only build science understanding but also respond to the ever-changing interests and abilities of children,” she said in a written statement.

Each Pint Size Science kit includes a literacy component that pulls together the most important ideas of the STEM topic being discussed, according to Kinney. Fundamental mathematical skills are reinforced through activities, including counting, numbering, and graphing.

“This opportunity will provide materials and support for our first-graders to experience hands-on science learning,” Kinney added. “The activities provided are organized to incorporate Next Generation Science standards and Iowa Common Core Science standards.”

Michelle Rogers, a first-grade teacher at St. Edmond, said the grant includes four modules.

“The first module is for all recipients — STEM Sprouts, which introduces the children to scientific investigation and STEM fields of study,” she said in a email. “We were allowed to select the other three modules from several offered, such as Bits and Bots (programming and coding), Mini Meteorologist, or Push and Pull (forces).”

Rogers said the school’s first-grade teaching team will receive a day of training during the summer to help implement the program.

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