Classroom STEM on display at North Tama Elementary

Science, technology, engineering and math fair held

With the assistance of North Tama Elementary STEM coordinator Christy Crees (left) and fourth grade student Deacon Buck (right), a group of students experiments with electricity through an invention kit using everyday objects and a computer. –Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
A colorful sign points visitors to the North Tama Spring 2022 STEM Fair held on Friday, April 8. –Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
North Tama Elementary Principal Susan Johnson (seated center) chats with Mrs. fourth grade students Lia Mundt (right) and Ellery Runge (left) while they work to build scale models for playground equipment using blueprints they created. –Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
Using marshmallows and toothpicks, fourth grade students including Levi Murty (center) and Zane Knoop (right) work to consolidate their separate towers in an attempt to build the tallest tower of the STEM fair. After running out of supplies, fourth grade teacher Jana Monat joked with the students, “I think the lumber yard is all out of toothpicks.” –Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
Preschooler Cruz McEwen (right) explains to his teacher Jill Miller (left) his thought process while interacting with the preschool classroom’s water table in the North Tama cafeteria on April 2 as part of the elementary school's Spring 2022 STEM Fair. –Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker
An animal habitat project titled ‘Starfish’ by North Tama kindergarten student Ella O’Brien on display April 2 as part of the elementary school’s Spring 2022 STEM Fair. –Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

North Tama’s elementary students put their creativity and knowledge of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) on display for the community last Friday, April 8, during the school’s Spring 2022 STEM Fair.

Across three rooms – the high school gym, gym lobby, and cafeteria – students not only showcased completed STEM projects but also had the chance to demonstrate their learning through interactive displays including a massive domino presentation by Dalton Hulme’s fifth and sixth grade students set up in the gym to kick off the fair.

In the gym lobby, kindergarten through second grade static projects were on display, while early childhood special education, preschool, third and fourth grade projects were displayed in the cafeteria.

For this year’s fair, kindergarten students researched an animal and then used their research to write and illustrate a small book about their chosen animal. Students further used their research to make a model habitat for the animal in a small container.

In the cafeteria, student STEM activity was bustling most of the afternoon where students flew sturdy paper airplanes through hula-hoops and attempted to engineer the tallest possible tower using toothpicks and mini marshmallows.

North Tama’s elementary interventionist and STEM coordinator Christy Crees assisted various groups of students in the lunchroom with their learning including using an invention kit that turns everyday objects – like bananas and pencils – into computer keys through a closed loop electrical signal.

Also in the cafeteria, preschool teacher Jill Miller’s students showcased their water table filled with blue water – answering questions from older students while they measured, poured, and splashed.

Elementary principal Susan Johnson also interacted with students during the fair by asking questions designed to further STEM knowledge and build problem-solving skills.