Family STEM Newsletter
Spring 2022 Vol. 1, Issue 4
Welcome back to the Family STEM Connection,
Welcome back to the Family STEM Connection, Boone Meadow’s quarterly newsletter about all things STEM! It is our goal to help families become more connected to our school community and to help children transfer their classroom learning to the world outside school as well. We view parents as partners with us in student learning and success. Read on to see what concepts our students are exploring this quarter and how you can join us in our learning!
Taking Learning Outside!
This spring, our 3rd graders have been hard at work helping me prepare the garden for the year. Besides weeding and amending the soil, they have built and installed our beautiful, sturdy new beds donated by the PTO! We have also planted cool weather crops like tatsoi greens and 3 types of radishes. Indoors we have started several varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, and onions. We are patiently waiting for warmer days before we put those in the ground.
Garden Help Wanted -
The Boone Meadow Garden is used K-4 for learning all spring and fall. To make these lessons work, though, we need volunteers to maintain the garden while we are away at summer break. I am eager to line up volunteers to help with garden maintenance over the summer. Fill out THIS FORM if you would like to be part of the team. It takes just 4 minutes. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Normally volunteer families simply commit to one day per week (or every other week) for weeding and watering. We have substitutes when you can’t make your day, and can work around vacations. Join us!
ZCS recently purchased VEX GO Robotics kits for each elementary school to use with their students next year. They arrived this week! It was like Christmas in April to unpack brand new robotics equipment! This summer, older students can get a chance to try out the equipment through an Eagle Rec opportunity. The VEX course will be limited to approximately 10 students. If there is family interest, this may be a spring board for a parent-run robotics club at BME next year. Interested families can check it out through Eagle Rec or contact me for more information.
Earth, Space, and Weather...
Fourth quarter brings us to study our Earth, the predictability of the patterns of the sun and moon, the weather that affects our world, and the material that shapes our earth – soil, rocks, and minerals. This is a perfect study for such a variable time of year weather-wise and the time that we are all ready to get outside and enjoy spring days and evenings! Our classroom teachers have hands-on science kits to guide students through investigations like exploring the properties of soil, experimenting with erosion and weathering, studying weather and the effects of its forces on the earth, and learning about the rock cycle and the properties of rocks and minerals.
Our focus standards for the quarter are listed below. You’ll notice overlap or a spiral approach as topics are built upon and repeat with more complexity in later grades. You can read more in depth by checking out all of our Indiana State Academic Science Standards at this link: Science and Computer Science Standards.
Home STEM Activities & Family Field Trip Ideas
We invite you to do more with these topics at home! Talk to your children about what they are exploring and learning in the classroom. What other experiments might be fun to try at home? How could you learn more through listening to a podcast? Where could you go in Zionsville or Indiana to see these things happening right before your eyes?
Visit State and local parks to see weathering, erosion, multiple soil types, and even fossils!
- Starkey Park in Zionsville is along Eagle Creek and has clear examples of weathering, erosion, and sandy soils alongside more organic material in soil.
- Shades State Park is right along Sugar Creek. The gorges and ravines demonstrate the power of water to shape the land and illustrate of past and present weathering and erosion. Families can hunt for and find fossils and geodes right along the shore of the creek, too!
Butler’s Holcomb Observatory offers public tours each weekend. Attend a Planetarium Show & Telescope Viewing as a family. Shows are appropriate for children and adults 5 years of age and older. Tickets are $5 and go on sale in the lobby 30 minutes before the show begins!
STEM Podcasts for Kids! – Libraries and books are always good for learning about science, but we can listen and learn, too. Check the link for a list of best kids’ STEM podcasts. My favorites are ”BrainsOn!” and “Wow in the World”. Try listening as an alternative to videos, music, or video games while driving in the car or listen while doing chores around the house. They are sure to keep your kids’ (and your) interest and to teach something new. (Links in images)
Feedback and Partnerships Requested:
Do you have expertise in a STEM field that you (or the company you work for) could share with our students? Do you have other field trip ideas or suggestions for at home activities to try? Perhaps you have questions about our program that you would like us to answer. Email Mrs. Benson directly or record your thoughts in this simple FORM.