Tiger STEM Newsletter - APRIL 2021

Science - Technology - Engineering - Mathematics

The "S" in STEM

S is for SCIENCE! The word "science" comes from Latin "scientia" meaning knowledge. Science is an area of study that helps us learn about and understand the natural world (like biology or physics). Science also refers to the systems of acquiring that knowledge using observation and experimentation to explain natural phenomena. Our Indiana Academic Standards for science focus on; physical science, earth and space science, life science, and engineering.

The integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a student centered learning environment helps students think critically and use problem-solving skills which are important components for the future job market! And, not all STEM jobs require a college degree. Many STEM careers are accessible through certification programs or career/tech classes such as aircraft/diesel mechanic, dental hygienist, graphic designer, and computer network support.

Click HERE to learn more about STEM careers!

IMSA West working toward STEM Certification!

Lots of activity is going on at IMSA West working toward earning STEM Certification from the Indiana Department of Education. Earning STEM certification is a multi-step process with many components to complete over the course of 1-3 years. The school's documentation and evidence for the required components must be maintained and the school will have a site visit by the IDOE STEM Certification Review Team. This team will score the elements required for earning this additional certification status. A minimum score of 65 is required to achieve STEM certification. Schools who score below 65 on the first site visit will have an opportunity to update their documentation to provide more evidence that will help earn more points on the next school site visit.

Schools receiving STEM certification are recognized as schools who provide students STEM-enriched learning opportunities beyond what is provided in other schools. This distinction will allow IMSA West to help our students meet college and career readiness with the skills they need to succeed and thrive in the future.

The certification process is led by Concept Schools Regional STEM Coordinator, Dr. Ayyoub, and supported by teachers and administrators who make up the IMSA West STEM Certification Committee.

Blasting off with ROCKETRY!

IMSA West began its journey this March to compete in The American Rocketry Challenge 2021. The ARC (American Rocketry Challenge) is the world's LARGEST rocket contest with almost 5,000 students competing each year! We will have 2 teams competing this year:

Team 1 Eye of the Tiger

Michael A. 8th Grade

My’Rhan B. 7th Grade

Samuel A. 7th Grade

Leah M. P. 7th Grade

Team 2 Tiger Pride

Josephine A. 8th Grade

Faith A. 8th Grade

Kareemat A. 8th Grade

Opeyemi K. 8th Grade

Each team must design and build a rocket that is capable of carrying one raw egg and also safely return it to the ground - uncracked! The rocket must reach an altitude of 800 feet and the flight duration should be 40 to 43 seconds. To help students meet these goals, each team has a mentor. Mentors are Ryan Woebkenburg, a software engineer with Salesforce, and Nathan Daniels of Raytheon. They volunteer and instruct the teams through the process and supports them as they design a rocket using the Open Rockets program, a design and engineering app. Once designs are complete the teams will begin building based on the specifications laid out in the program.

Our hope is to begin test launching soon and then we will have our qualification flights and try to make the top 100 and then attempt a shot at the nationals. Weather permitting, Rocketry Club will launch two rockets for the first time Monday, April 5th at Lawrence Soccer Complex!

Qualification flights are due May 17, 2021 - we'll keep you posted with more updates next month!

To learn more about this competition, click HERE!

Click HERE for a short video on Rockets 101!


K-2 Happenings!

Kindergarten students in Ms. Mill's class worked for two weeks last month on the topic of Pushes and Pulls. They explored new vocabulary words and watched videos and demonstrations using different objects for pushes and pulls. They discussed how force and friction are used to move or resist moving objects. After reading the assigned text, it was up to students to demonstrate their learning and come up with ways to move rocks from a friend's backyard - using pushes or pulls. The students did an excellent job of writing sentences to accompany their drawings. Considering students did all this in their eLearning environment, they did a great job of showing their understanding of pushes and pulls! Ms. Mill's is very proud of her students - kudos to Kindergarten!

Some of the student work is shown below!

Click HERE to watch a fun Jack Hartmann video song on pushes and pulls!

3-5 Headlines!

CONGRATULATIONS to three of our 5th graders for qualifying for Concept Schools STEM Exposition! They are:

  • Abiola J. (watch Abiloa's presentation video HERE!)
  • Samuel A. (watch Samuel's catapult presentation video HERE!)
  • Treasur S. (watch Treasur's tornado in a bottle presentation video HERE!)

The Exposition allows students to showcase results of their STEM studies by doing real-world investigations and practicing their presentation skills. These students will receive a $40 monetary award from Concept Schools and $20 from IMSA - congratulations on your success!


Last month we reported that 4th grade was working on inventing a new compound machine by combining two simple machines, and using Autodesk TinkerCAD to build their models. To explore more about simple machines, click on the video links below!

Spanish video

English video

6-8 News!

Welcome Ms. Harris!

We are excited to welcome Ms. Sondra Harris to our IMSA family! She will be teaching grades 6-8 science.

Ms. Harris is new to Indiana having moved here from College Park, New York where she taught Living Environment at Cohoes City School District. Before teaching at CCSD she worked at a school for students with spectrum disorders. A native of Stillwater in upstate New York, she earned her Bachelor's of Science in Biology at SUNY (State University of New York) Oswego, with a concentration in genetics. Her MS in education was earned with City University of Seattle.

Ms. Harris shares that she loves science, math, and smaller school settings. With IMSA focusing on those subjects, it was an easy decision to choose IMSA as her professional home. She loves to inspire students and wants them to be curious and ask questions to learn about the world around them. Ms. Harris hopes to spark their love of science and discovery!

Her message to parents as she takes on her new role; "I am fully committed to your child. I will do all I can to make them as successful as they can be! And, I am always willing to do whatever it takes to help the children reach their full potential. Parents should feel free to reach out to me at any time!"

Outside of education Ms. Harris is a busy mom of two teenagers, and is usually helping them with chemistry or math. She is still getting to know the area as they moved to Indiana the day after Christmas.


We'll focus on the T in STEM! And of course, updates from our classes/teachers on all things STEM related!