After-school STEM Club draws interest of many

Central Columbia School District  |  Posted on

Ella Maiuro, fourth grade student at Central Columbia Elementary School, works on building her free-standing structure out of pipe cleaners at the after-school STEM Club.

At Central Columbia Elementary School, students have been given the opportunity to partake in an after-school STEM/Computer Science Club to further explore the hands-on curriculum. A STEM lab, to include a makerspace, was created within the elementary school due to a generous grant provided by the Alcoa Foundation.

When the announcement first went home to the building of 700 students, the club hoped to get a response of at least 50 students. To the school’s surprise, over 200 students expressed their interest in attending the optional after-school club! To accommodate so many students, the school offered additional nights, and the school year was divided into monthly cohorts. Given the club’s success, the school looks forward to continuing the club and offering additional sessions to students over the summer and next school year.

Lead by four teachers, students have been engaged in COVID-friendly projects that challenge them to be critical thinkers, create various builds and continually work to improve their design. All projects center around the engineering design process, and some of those activities include the building of snowflakes, free-standing towers, snow sleds, KEVA plank, and LEGO challenges. The club will expand future activities, including coding, robotics, gravity maze and other project-based experiments.

The STEM club teachers state, “Teaching the STEM club each week is a joy! It is a rewarding experience to see the excitement in the students’ faces as the projects come to life and to watch their confidence build right before our eyes!”

Central Columbia is thrilled to offer this wonderful opportunity to students to provide hands-on challenges that develop innovation, creativity, collaboration and team-building skills. The goal is to build a foundation, love and awareness for STEM curriculum to better prepare students for their future.