STEM…Saving Fred!

Saving Fred… our first STEM activity of the year!

Last Friday, 2nd graders were given their first STEM challenge.  Before we began our activity, we discussed what the acronym STEM stood for…. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.   I was impressed at the number of students who already knew what all four letters stood for and represented.  What they didn’t know is that the T can have a second meaning… Teamwork!!!

After dividing up into small teams, each group was given one gummy life saver, one clear cup, four paper clips, and one very cute gummy worm named Fred!  After hearing about Fred’s tragic boat accident, where the life saver was trapped under the capsized boat, the 2nd graders worked as a team to get Fred safely back into his life saver.

Fredgrade2

Each group worked in their own way to first retrieve the life saver and then to work Fred safely back into his flotation device.  There were many failed attempts, but each group continued to work at it, talking to each other, testing new ideas and strategies.  In the end, Fred was rescued by every group at least once.

What I found most impressive, however, is that when the group completed the initial task, we added additional challenges.  Instead of complaining or giving up, each group embraced the new challenge, adjusted their strategies, and once again, worked as a team to save Fred!

With the addition of the new STEM lab, I look forward to having so many more opportunities to give our kids the chance to apply those science and math skills, to try out new forms of technology, and especially to work as a TEAM!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Summer Camp: Korean Friends!

For two and a half weeks this summer, St. John’s hosted 37 students from South Korea as part of an English language camp. Students learned about American culture, literature, art and STEM from our own SJLS teachers! They were assisted by students from our middle school. Many wonderful friendships and learning opportunities were made! THANK YOU to Mrs. Demarest, Mrs. G, Mrs. Fink and Mrs. Elliot for all of their hard work and enthusiasm for teach our Korean friends!

Korean Cultural Experience

This summer Dr. Hollatz had the privilege to travel to South Korea to visit two partner schools and tour the country. St. John’s is blessed to have a total of 4 partner schools in southern South Korea that bring students to St. John’s to learn English and American culture in the winter and summer. Here are a few pictures from Dr. Hollatz’s travels this summer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

STEM Lab is OPEN!

The first ever STEAM Corridor is opening at St. John’s Lutheran School in Orange. Over the summer the school took a giant leap into the future of education to be the first private school to open a dedicated STEM Lab for Kindergarten through 8th grade students.

The STEM Lab features a 3D printing lab with 4 state-of-the-art 3D printers from local company AirWolf (Fountain Valley), a creation station area for students to build and create, and a direct instruction area for group collaboration. The spaces was designed by local company Tangram (Santa Fe Springs) and has flexible learning furniture from Steelcase.

Across the hall from the STEM Lab is the newly branded music room where students get instruction in the musical arts. These two spaces together create the first every STEAM Corridor for a complete 21st century and beyond learning environment. A new visual arts studio is also across the street to fully compliment the STEAM philosophy and pedagogy of St. John’s.

Over the summer many hours of work went into creating the STEM Lab. Mrs. Grack is now ready to have students and learn all about various elements of technology and integrate their learning with other content areas.

There will be an open house and dedication for the STEM Lab on Sunday, September 9 from 9:00-12:30. Please stop in to see this fantastic blessing to our campus!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First Grade Fun!

The beginning of the year is such an exciting time! Everyone gets new shoes, new backpacks, new school supplies, new friends, and a new teacher. Students enter classrooms expectantly. Some are raring to go while others are more cautious.

Teachers are just as excited to meet their new classes and plan for a wonderful year. There’s a lot of work that goes into each person’s role.  Learning routines takes up a great deal of time and effort. Knowing that God has his hand on our shoulders gives us just what we need to do our best.

At the end of the first week of school, the first graders and their teachers celebrate all their hard work with a popsicle break. Job well done first graders!

By: Mrs. Demarest, 1st grade