Visitation lower school’s imagination runs wild with STEM

The parents of Visitation Academy’s students got the chance to see what happens when their daughters are given creative control of their school projects. The all-girl, Catholic school held its STEM, –Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — presentation for the lower school on Friday, March 24 in its Alumnae Room.

The components that make up STEM were applied to students’ projects to show how they correlate with achieving goals. Students had to cooperate with each other in order not only to complete the project but also form agreements as to how their final product would be designed.

The theme of the program is imagination. The first grade students used their imagination to construct buildings wrapped around plastic that represented a Domed City. The city consisted of several businesses to make up their ideal dome, with the children making use of recyclable materials such as pizza, cereal and jewelry boxes, to form their city.

Visitation’s pre-k students learned about ants and their survival necessities through their project. The students created ant habitats that would be suitable for ants to live in if they happened to be taken into outer space. Pre-k teacher Adrienne Junsch assisted her students in researching and assembling the habitats.

On the other hand, the third grade students created a habitat suitable for Betta fishes made up of plastic bags, Skittles, Jello, water bottles, wax paper, Swedish Fish and various other random materials.

Design was a huge factor for the kindergarteners who were creating talking pencils for their STEM project. “They had to work collaboratively as a group to design a futuristic talking pencil that would help them to correct their sentences,” said Kindergarten teacher Alissiah Daddona-Barnett.

Drawing inspiration from computer and mobile devices spell check, the talking pencil checks spelling, grammar, spacing and even backwards characters, a common issue for dyslexic children. Each group in the class had different pencils which varied in scents, colors and overall designs.

The second and fourth graders stuck to more traditional types of projects. Second graders dealt with water filtration, while fourth graders created self-containedbiospheres.

Showing a sense of awe, second grade teacher Noreen Romano was proud of her students who created a PowerPoint presentation on their own that documented the process of their project through a series of photos that they had taken.

The school’s Principal, Arlene Figaro, attended the presentation watching proudly as the students eagerly held their parents’ attention while showing off their work.

STEM isn’t anything new for Visitation Academy. “STEM has been a part of us for a long time,” said Romano. “The kids always have a great time being involved in it.”

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