WEYMOUTH — Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple is pleased to announce that Weymouth students will have several opportunities to learn about and explore the science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM) next week.
From Oct. 21-26, Weymouth Public Schools will participate in Massachusetts’ second annual STEM Week, an effort started by the Baker-Polito Administration to support students’ interest in STEM education.
“Schools throughout Weymouth hosted several fun and educational STEM Week activities last year,” Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services and Support Mary Ann Bryan said. “Students at every grade level, from pre-K to high school, were very enthusiastic. We are looking forward to another successful event this year.”
More than three dozen classroom activities will be featured during the upcoming week. At the preschool level, students will once again be working in groups to learn coding by controlling tiny machines known as Bee-Bots. They will program the robots to reach a designated destination on a map by determining proper distances and angles.
At the primary school level activities will include designing tree houses to meet specific height and access criteria, learning to design earthquake-resistant structures, creating a prototype of a roller coaster using the engineering design process and prior knowledge about friction and forces, and using forensic techniques to solve mysteries.
Middle school students will be working in groups to design, build, test, re-evaluate and share custom-made video game controllers. They will apply their knowledge of circuits, conductors and insulators to create functional controllers that can be used to play a game on a computer screen.
At the high school, students will engage in activities such as observing a variety of body tissues at the microscopic level and comparing and contrasting different types of tissues.They will also explore STEM in the Motorsport industry with lessons on vehicle brakes using a BMW Motorsport race car.
The week-long activities will culminate in a STEM Conference for Girls in grades 4-8, held on Saturday, Oct. 26, beginning at 8 a.m. in the Weymouth High School Gold Cafeteria. The event will feature 20 interactive workshops, and is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in partnership with Weymouth Public Schools.
The Weymouth Public Schools, as a member of the Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network, has put an emphasis on STEM education for many years. While next week will put a greater emphasis on these topics, many are incorporated into regular classroom instruction in conjunction with instruction of the arts.
“You can’t be an engineer without being creative, and you can’t be an artist without being a problem solver,” Weymouth Public Schools STEM Director Teri Fleming said. “We are working to break down walls and find ways to overlap all disciplines. It starts as early as pre-school, and by the time students reach primary school we’ve already introduced them to robotics. It carries with them all the way to high school.”
The Weymouth Public Schools wish to acknowledge Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network coordinator Katherine Honey, Assistant Director of STEM Jeremy Angelos and Fleming for coordinating STEM Week activities, as well as Weymouth Public Schools community relations liaison Betsy Harris and fourth grade teacher Lynn Howard for coordinating the STEM Conference for Girls.