Tiger STEM Newsletter - March 2021

Science - Technology - Engineering - Mathematics

Welcome to our first STEM-tastic Newsletter!


As IMSA continues to pursue STEM certification from the Indiana Department of Education, we want to keep you updated of all the STEM happenings behind the scenes! Our administrators and staff are working hard to provide the best inquiry-based learning opportunities for our students. We know students are learning when they begin asking the right questions! We look forward to sharing all things STEM related with you each month!

PBL (Project Based Learning) Teacher Certification!

IMSA staff have been working towards earning their certification in being a PBL (Project Based Learning) certified staff member. What is PBL? It's an inquiry-based teaching method in which students are actively engaged in meaningful projects. With PBL, students focus on a big, open-ended question, challenge, or problem that helps students connect to the real world. PBL projects allow students to work over time with the content, often across several academic areas such as English Language Arts and Science.

Currently 88% of IMSA staff have completed PBL training! Watch for more updates on PBL, including some student spotlights in future newsletters!

Click here to learn more about Project Based Learning!

Some of our STEM-tastic Opportunities!

Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

Many of our teachers are now certified PLTW teachers and are implementing PLTW lessons at least two times a week in the classroom. Project Lead the Way provides engaging and hands-on experiences and opportunities for discovery. These classroom opportunities allow students a foundation to build upon, which will support them in Project Based Learning projects as well. PLTW is based in Indianapolis and we are excited our teachers and students have access to this program!


K-2 Happenings!

This month our second grade scholars are exploring the world around them by researching habitats. They will be discovering the plants and animals that live in a chosen habitat and what the climates and seasons look like throughout the year. After a month of group collaboration and individual research time, students may present their habitat projects in a variety of ways - a poster, PowerPoint presentation, diorama, video, trifold board, or other online creation.

Click here to learn more about habitats!

Big picture

3-5 News!

Science: Fourth grade has been working on a compound machines PBL project and are currently in the model making stage. They are inventing a new compound machine by combining two simple machines, and using Autodesk TinkerCAD to build their models.

Math: Fourth graders are making "shape projects" as a PBL unit for geometry while in 5th grade students have been collaborating in both ELA and Math in creating and running their own pizza shopper their PBL unit. Students are calculating what customers "owe" for a pizza based on the toppings chosen.

6-8 Projects!

IMSA 7th graders are working on their PBL activity by decoding Navajo code talker messages sent during missions in World War II. This is done by a complicated process of learning which English letters correspond with each Navajo word or phrase sent through radio communications. Students have also written their own coded messages by using logical reasoning, deductive skills, knowledge of linguistics, and information about history.

This project allows our English Language Arts students the opportunity to engage in STEM activities. You can see that STEM does indeed allow access for all students across different

content areas!

Want to learn more about Navajo code talkers? Click here for a short video!

Big picture


Next month we will provide an update on our efforts to achieve Indiana Department of Education STEM certification and MORE STEM news from our eLearning classrooms!