Mice, caterpillars and planes help kids learn lessons in STEAM

IMG 2356JOHNSTON, Ia. (March 10, 2022) — From coding mice and caterpillars to building paper airplanes and LEGO walls, Wallace Elementary students spent a fun-filled day packed with lessons in STEAM.

STEAM Day meant taking a break from students’ regular lessons and having the whole school instead focus its attention for the day on fun activities that offered learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

By coding mice and Code-apillars, first graders worked with technology and some basic engineering as they charted the direction of the plastic critters. They learned lessons in planning, coding, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving as they overcame obstacles.

“This takes them out of their routine,” said IMG 2376Melissa Keeney-Johnson, an instructional coach with Johnston schools who helped students with coding their mice.

In other areas of the school, fourth graders undertook a paper airplane challenge. The students chose a design, folded their paper airplanes, then tested to see how far their plane would fly.

Some designs went far. Others didn’t.

Nearby, second graders squealed with excitement as they competed in a relay-style “LEGO wall build.”

IMG 2401Groups of students started by planning a spring-themed design they’d build on the LEGO wall. Then, racing against the clock, students took turns building the LEGO design piece by piece, with each team member only allowed to put one piece on the board at a time.

STEAM Day involved all students at Wallace, from kindergarten through 5th grade. Other activities of the day included mazes, bumper bowling, charades, building cart, Mindfield, Scratch, Digital Breakout, One Red Dot, 3-D Dot, Team Pen, Paper Rocket and “Chicken, Dog, Rice.”