Sixth-graders at Green Intermediate School have the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) each day with the creation of the new STEM classroom. Students spend 45 minutes each day engaging in lessons built on STEM concepts.
The classroom has been a vision of Green Intermediate Principal Mark Booth for several years. Located in the basement of the school, the new classroom formerly housed of the old metal and wood shop and later was used for storage.
“I always dreamed of doing something and bringing it alive,” Booth said.
Construction of the classroom cost $275,000, but the district received a Young Entrepreneurs Straight A Grant in the amount of $1.2 million to put toward the classroom.
The room is completely new, but still has an industrial feel with the duct work being visible. Some of the features of the room include tables that fold up, cubbies for projects, power cords that pull down from the ceiling, upgraded wifi and white boards.
“It is remarkable to have a space like this in a building built in 1956,” Booth said.
Booth said the classroom will evolve as time goes on and students will be solving real-world problems using STEM. The district also hopes to expand after-school offerings using the room for a Soap Box Derby Mini Car Lab Project.
The project allows for students to construct a mini Soap Box Derby car to race on a small track. Local businesses will provide sponsorship by placing their logos on the student's cars.
“I see this as parents and students working together,” Booth said of the project.
The district is exploring grants through the Soap Box Derby and once the cars are constructed, a race will be held between Green and North Canton students.
Green Superintendent Jeff Miller said the space wasn't a student space before. But now it’s designed with the students in mind, bringing a new, bright creative space to students.
The room is split into two learning spaces. Both have a set of Chrome Books and soon will have giant tablets on wheels that can be set flat on the floor or moved around.
Miller said mobility is a big word often used about the room.
Teachers Pam Anderson and Sean Mostov teach the STEM classes and often collaborate for projects and lessons. On a recent day, students got to take part in a review game using laptops that allowed them to answer questions that were projected on a screen.
Anderson calls the room the best of both worlds as students can take part in hands-on exercises and use technology.
“The students get to design and build something with each lesson,” Anderson said.
Students recently built boats to hold pennies as part of a lesson. Mostov said the room provides a wonderful opportunity for students.
“This is a great opportunity to provide something that wasn't available five to 10 years ago,” Mostov said.