STEM

STEAM night inspired students

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The students and families who came to the STEAM night March 5 had an electrifying and hair-raising experience with the fun and educational activities highlighting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Attendees got hands-on experience with a Van De Graaf generator to learn about electricity, drove a robot from the Nashoba High School Robotics Club, saw the workings of a telescope, watched filtering of liquid mixtures, participated in math activities, listened to stories and created crafts.

STEAM night is an annual event attracting more than 100 people and is organized by South Lancaster Academy's Home and School Association. Dionne Blackwell, a parent and engineer who also volunteers her time to lead SLA's Robotics Club, invited the presenters to share their knowledge with the students.

"We were fortunate to have wonderful and enthusiastic presenters that interacted with us and kept everyone excited about their various topics," said Tish Brahmia, science teacher. "It was wonderful watching students' eyes light up as they were able to experience the Van De Graaf machine or control a robot."

SLA awarded $10,000 STEM grant

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Our students will be able to enjoy more opportunities to learn robotics and other STEM initiatives thanks to a $10,000 grant from Versacare, Inc. This grant will help SLA provide more technology education for our students to learn vital skills for today's workforce.

This year, we began offering robotic programming through our newly formed CPUsaders Club to participate in First Lego League. We purchased one Lego Mindstorm's robot and opened the club to students in grades 5 through 8. With this grant, we are able to buy more robots, challenge kits and other necessary equipment, allow more teams, possibly travel to competitions and to extend the club to students in grades 9 through 12.

The students picture above are inaugral members of the CPUsaders. They've been meeting on Sunday mornings with volunteer coaches Dionne Blackwell and Haniel Olivera, both engineers.

The students are learning programming, robotic design, engineering principles, teamwork and more as they work through hydro dynamic challenges, the theme set by First Lego League. The focus on hydro dynamics is for participants to learn all about water--how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it--while completing robotic missions. 

Thanks to this grant, we're excited to be able to expand this program to more students for next year.