Full STEAM Ahead … Power Up Program Showcases Students’ Ingenuity and Creativity

Mary Lin Elementary School buzzed with creative energy and activity, as summer campers across the Grady cluster gathered on June 14 to proudly unveil the hands-on projects they designed and created as part of the 2019 Power Up STEAM Camp Showcase.

From air-powered cars made out of straws and Life Savers candies to the use of beeswax to make reusable sandwich bags, the two-week STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) camp showcase, dubbed “Full STEAM Ahead,” served as a culminating display of student ingenuity, creativity and teamwork in the engineering process.

Students explored their creativity by participating in several hands-on activities. Third graders, for example, learned how to weave and replicate a variety of simple machines. Meanwhile, fourth graders designed a solution to combat rising sea levels by using glue, rocks, water and Popsicle sticks, and fifth graders created a robotic hand, explored the life cycle of a honeybee, and more.

“The 5 C’s of college and career readiness (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and citizenship) were evident in students’ learning experiences and outcomes this summer,” said Dr. Yolanda Windham, program support specialist for the Grady cluster. “From creating an air-powered car to learning how bees help humans, our student explorers were really engaged and worked collaboratively, which helped expand their learning.”

Other enrichment activities required students to create hexagon palates and pollinate a garden using the wildly popular Minecraft video game.

“Students really developed a better understanding of the engineering and design process, collaboration, tapping into their creativity, and working within certain restraints,” said Shenise White, a gifted and talented teacher at Springdale Park who worked with fifth graders at the camp. “Students learned about the bee’s life cycle and all that goes into making video games. It was a fun week.”

While exploring music, students made air-powered instruments such as panpipes made from straws. They also created a display of various sounds, which included replicating the sound of rain and hail by pouring macaroni slowly into an empty container and opening a package by using a crinkled plastic bag.

Students like Gracy Young and Aimee Ellis had a blast attending the Power Up summer program.

“I loved learning about my favorite subject, which is science,” said Gracy, a rising fifth grader at Morningside Elementary School, who enjoyed learning how bees make wax. “I had a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends.”

“I liked all the things I got to do with my class, like Minecraft and making music instruments, said Aimee, a rising fourth grader at Hope-Hill Elementary School.

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