Endless Possibilities with Just a Few Blocks
#SAMSuccess story: Endless project possibilities with just a few blocks!
Mount Nittany Elementary School’s universal STEM program is now in its fourth year. Each class – from Kindergarten to Grade Five – has 50 minutes of STEM learning every five days, which centers around engineering and design, STEM careers and empathy units (creating projects with others’ needs in mind).
Today, we share Tara’s story which is all about creativity and joy! She shares one of the many genius projects from her classroom, and her tried and tested opinions on our hardware!
Customer: Mount Nittany Elementary School, State College, PA
Educator: Tara Pollick – K-5 STEM Teacher
Challenges and goals: Encourage and develop creativity as a key skill, bringing joy to STEM learning, designing projects with empathy and end users in mind, grow students’ confidence
She uses: SAM Labs STEAM Kit
Tara on the versatility of our hardware: “The possibilities are endless! Students are able to do so many things with a few blocks. As a connection to the different seasons, I got the idea to do a simulated scarecrows project with my fourth graders from the SAM Labs Maker Cards. They had so much fun with that and loved playing with the sounds and everything.”
“One of the things I love so much about SAM Labs is that there are so many options to do different things. Most of the blocks have settings which you can change, and students love changing the color of a light or speed of a motor and personalizing it. It’s really helpful for them.”
On growing her confidence with SAM Labs: “I have used SAM Labs more than I have in years past. Part of this is that I feel more comfortable with SAM Labs – it’s able to do so much! It has taken time to understand and see how it can be used in different ways in the classroom.”
On what projects she’s planning next: “I will have my fifth grade students build lighthouses, using a lesson from SAM Labs as this ties in nicely with a unit on light. I look forward to finding additional ways to incorporate SAM Labs in my lessons with other grade levels. My fourth and fifth grade students have gotten pretty good at using SAM Labs, so I foresee having some open-ended projects where SAM Labs is an option they can choose to use to build and create.”
Hear more about Tara’s #SAMSuccess story by downloading our recent webinar – ‘Sparking Joy with Computational Thinking’!
Would you like to learn more about all the different STEM projects you can create with our help? Take a look at our solutions or get a free trial. If you’re an existing customer and need assistance, visit our Support Center.
Rosie is a writer and storyteller with a passion for tech and learning, with nearly a decade’s experience writing for small tech startups and large brands alike. In her free time she enjoys walks with her pet greyhound Boris, singing in a jazz quartet and making new music.