While distance learning is still in effect, middle school students at South Bay Christian School did not miss out on their end-of-quarter activities. Weeks before the quarter ended, their teachers prepared science kits for each student to enjoy STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) lessons from the comfort of their homes.
During a normal school year, students work together in groups made up of different grades for STEAM week. Students implement hands-on activities collaboratively; they discuss, problem solve, and are able to enjoy various foods and snacks they wouldn’t get to otherwise. The focus is on building community among students.
“At-home kits bring some of that creativity back into learning,” said Diane Voigt, 6th Grade Homeroom. “Students don’t always get a chance to show their innovation in digital assignments. This gives them a chance to get messy, to break from the regular pattern of school, and to apply some real-life skills, too.”
Students learned about digestion and ratios and even got to make their own tamales after reading the story, “Too Many Tamales.” One student even took the newfound knowledge to heart and made a yummy tamale dinner for her family.
“These at-home kits are a chance for connection, a chance to bring hands-on learning to our students while implementing rigor and excellence in learning, even from afar,” Ruth Perez, 7th Grade Homeroom.
“In distance learning, I didn’t expect my class to miss each other as much as we do,“ Raquel Mentor, 8th Hrade Homeroom. “I also see how students are willing to help each other through the process. They work together on homework, and keep in touch with each other outside of school. It’s hopeful to see how distance doesn’t stop them from caring for one another.”
While teachers and students alike hope to have more STEAM weeks in person, they feel incredibly blessed and thankful to have the technology to enjoy these small memories together.