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McElroy Grant Blog


Welcome to the McElroy Grant Blog! Here, you will find updates from our grant recipients regarding their projects and highlights of the student experiences. 

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Putting the “T” in STEM

Kindergarten lays the foundation for much of what comes next in a student’s education. We feel this should be no different with STEM. Early exposure to STEM is important in fostering a lasting interest in the field and fighting against the idea that STEM subjects are hard and only for the brightest students. This project combines two ideas, STEM and Centers, into an activity that engages students in meaningful play and career exploration.

  • Amount awarded: $1,984.00
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten
  • School: Central Elementary
  • District: Central CSD
  • Teacher(s) name(s): Andrea Zittergruen 

Students engage in a variety of STEM activities from BeeBots to Osmos

A working knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is required for many occupations. It’s never too early to start giving students STEM experiences. This project combined two ideas, STEM and learning centers, into an activity that engaged students in meaningful play and career exploration using Osmos and BeeBot materials. Using these new materials, along with iPads and BeeBots we already had in our classroom, we were able to set up in a center-based fashion, allowing students to advance according to their skill level, learning style, and interests. 

We used our new Card Mats and BeeBots to practice sight words and number identification while working through various coding, problem-solving and debugging strategies. Students learned what to do when an attempt is unsuccessful and how to overcome challenges and fix problems. 

The kindergarten students loved working with their peers in a small group at these STEM centers throughout the year! They looked forward to getting new centers every cycle, while still using the same technology they were familiar with! We saw much success using our new materials and are hoping the first-grade teachers will utilize these materials to continue this hands-on problem solving, using creativity, sequential thinking and higher-order thinking skills! 




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