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STEM kits keep kids learning during break

Partnership brings learning supplies to Dodger Academy students

Spring break is underway in the Fort Dodge Community School District, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop.

In fact, students in the afterschool program called Dodger Academy have a fun way to learn some things about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) thanks to some kits provided by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Two kinds of kits were distributed. Students in kindergarten through second grade got one called ”Scrumptious Stoplight.” It is all about picking, preparing and enjoying healthy foods. It includes a book featuring the always popular Berenstain Bears about junk food. The kit also includes instructions on making healthy snacks. Each kit includes a flexible cutting board and a plastic knife so that the kids can learn the technique of slicing fruits and vegetables without the risk of slicing little fingers.

Those in third through fifth grades received space-oriented kits called ”Astronaut Lander.” They contain the supplies that the kids can use to make their own version of a lunar lander. It also includes a book about NASA astronaut Leland D. Melvin.

Healthy snacks and space ships seem like sound ways get the attention of kids and nurture their creativity. The youngest children in the program will get some pointers about healthy eating from cartoon bears, while the older ones can be inspired by the story of a real astronaut hero.

These STEM kits were made possible by a partnership between the school district and ISU Extension and Outreach. That partnership actually started before these kits were made. This is a very beneficial relationship and we hope it continues.

We also hope the Dodger Academy students enjoy their STEM kits and learn a lot from them.

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