Forest Park Students Build to Learn
Intense concentration — interrupted by bouts of discussion, redesign and testing — took over the Forest Park Adventist Christian School (FPACS) gymnasium in Everett, Wash., on March 30 as students built projects for STEM Day.
STEM Day is an eagerly awaited day of fun and education for the students at FPACS. On the last Friday of the month, students in kindergarten through eighth grade gather together to utilize the STEM skills they’ve learned in their classrooms to build a working project.
STEM education is a focused emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics that helps students understand new concepts of learning through a hands-on approach.
During STEM Day, students were given a project with a list of available materials and the time constraints for building and testing. During their most recent project, students were given the task of building a wheeled vehicle powered by a balloon.
Although the projects are individual, students are encouraged to collaborate with one another about design issues and sometimes may need to work cooperatively in groups of two or three.
Once the projects are completed, students demonstrate what they have accomplished and share their findings with others.
Experts in education say that STEM helps develop critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, innovation and problem-solving. These are skills needed in everyday life, and they help prepare students for potential careers in the STEM areas. While the teachers at FPACS value the many educational benefits of STEM Day, the students enjoy having fun learning.