Activate a lifelong interest in S.T.E.M. through exploration and discovery.
Giving students early experiences in the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) helps students seek solutions to new problems, connect classroom lessons to the world around them, and discover how to employ critical thinking. A solid foundation of skills such as these puts students on an early path to success, from classroom to career.
The earlier students develop an interest in S.T.E.M., the better.
As much as 65 percent of scientists and graduate students developed their interest in science in elementary school. Engaging students now builds confidence, grows interest, and sets them on course for strong accomplishments in middle school, high school, and beyond.
How can we provide students with the chance to love S.T.E.M. at a younger age?
Elementary Launch Curriculum
Modules for Kindergarten Through Sixth Grade
In this module, students are introduced to the design process and discover how engineering influences their lives. They examine items around them that were designed by engineers and apply what they have learned to a new tool design.
Students investigate the effects of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object, developing knowledge and skills related to forces of differing strengths and directions. Students refine a design and reflect on the effects of modifying the strength or direction of a force.
In this module, students explore light and sound, including vibration from sound waves and the effect of different materials on the path of a beam of light. Projects include creating and evaluating a device that uses light or sound to communicate over a distance.
Students monitor, identify, and describe patterns of the sun, moon, and stars. Using what they have learned, students create, test, and improve upon a device designed to solve a problem related to the sun’s patterns.
Students examine and classify different kinds of materials by characteristics including color, texture, and heat conduction. After analyzing data from materials testing, students apply their skills to determine the best material to solve a design problem.
During this module, students research the ways animals disperse seeds and pollinate plants. They use critical thinking skills to design and build a tool that mimics one of these methods, focusing on how to maximize the efficiency of their creation and analyzing how it was informed by nature.
In this module, students explore the forces involved in flight, as well as Newton’s Laws of Motion, by experimenting with the creation and modification of a model glider.
Students study simple machines such as wheels and axles, levers, and the inclined plane, along with magnetic interactions between objects. Students apply new skills with hands-on projects.
Students explore how mechanisms change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement, and force. Students use what they discovered about energy transfer in collisions to develop a vehicle restraint system.
Students learn about forms of energy, with a focus on how energy can be converted to meet a human need or want. Students apply knowledge by designing a system that is able to store energy and then convert the energy to a usable form as it is released.
In Robotics and Automation, students delve into how robots are used in today’s world and the impact of their use on society and the environment. Students build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely and participate in a project related to environmental disaster cleanup.
This module helps students develop programming skills in a variety of platforms, including tablet applications and browser-based programming environments. Students build and program an autonomous robot to solve a real-world design problem.