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Teaching is an art, as well as a science. Every elementary student participates in STEAM opportunities. STEAM education builds cognitive power, even in the youngest learners, by enhancing the development of the prefrontal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the occipital lobe of the brain. Students will exercise both the left and the right hemispheres of their brains by engaging in a hands-on, activity based curriculum called Project Lead The Way (PLTW). Project Lead The Way uses science, technology, engineering, art, and math to develop critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real world problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills.

PLTW Launch taps into young children’s exploratory nature and encourages them to keep discovering. Here’s a look at what our students study in each grade:

Kindergarten Scholars will:

  • Discover engineering and the design process to create their own paintbrushes.
  • Investigate pushes and pulls on the motion of everyday objects in their world.
  • Learn about the diagnosis and treatment of a broken arm and work to design and build a cast.

 First Grade Scholars will:

  • Learn about light and create a playground structure to protect peers from ultraviolet radiation.
  • Learn about animal adaptations in the environment and design the ideal shoe for travelers to wear in extreme environments.
  • Explore computer science and storytelling to create short story animations.

Second Grade Scholars will:

  • Investigate properties of matter and problem solve how to keep ice pops cold during a soccer game without a cooler.
  • Explore the changing Earth and problem solve how to keep a community safe from a landslide and erosion.
  • Learn about numerical relationships and design a game using computer programming.

Third Grade Scholars will:

  • Explore stability and forces and apply what they learned to problem solve rescuing a trapped tiger at the zoo.
  • Study genetic traits and create a design model for the stem color gene in plant seeds.
  • Learn about computer programming language and then apply modular function and branching logic to create a video game.

Fourth Grade Scholars will:

  • Study energy collision and then apply learning to develop a vehicle restraint system for bumper cars at an amusement park.
  • Learn about energy conversion and develop solutions for moving donated food from a truck to a food pantry.
  • Explore computer input and output and create a computer program to diagnose brain concussions.

Fifth Grade Scholars will:

  • Explore automation and design remote controlled robots that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site.
  • Expand robotics learning and design an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies to a hospital without being remotely controlled by a person.
  • Study detection and problem solve the outbreak and spread of infection through a school and then propose prevention methods.

Our digital native elementary students will also have classes focused on internet safety and coding. What is coding? Coding is the way we tell computers to do all the helpful things they do for us. From using an app or finding a contact in your phone so you can send a text message, to directing a rocket into space, computers follow a list of written instructions from a coder, or programmer. With technology changing every industry on the planet, computing knowledge has become part of a well-rounded skill set. But fewer than half of all schools teach computer science! Good news is, we’re on our way to changing this.