OSU Extension, Pickaway County and Teays Valley School District have teamed up to plan and implement the district’s third annual after-school elementary-wide STEM Club. We will meet approximately 2 times per month in each of the four elementary buildings from 3:30-5:00 pm. Participants will be limited to 30 students per building. Acceptance in the after-school program will be an application based lottery.There will be a $ 25 fee for the year with financial hardship waivers available. The fee can be cash or check (written out to OSU Extension, Pickaway County) and turned in at the first STEM Club meeting or mailed to OSU Extension, Pickaway County, P.O. Box 9, Circleville, OH 43113. Save STEM Club blog, u.osu.edu/tvstemclub/, regular updates will be posted to website; such as, club meeting highlights, STEM challenges, and open access to the STEM Club calendar for your student’s STEM Club meetings. The goal of the program is to promote student interest and engagement in STEM in each of the elementaries. This program is considered an extension of the school day. Participants will be engaged in hands-on STEM activities and learn about careers in STEM.
Students who may enjoy STEM club are those who enjoy being challenged and who are interested in:
the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
the process of learning, asking questions and problem solving
helping people and making a difference in the world
If your child is interested in participating in the lottery visit the STEM Club Blog site for information and complete the online application (NOW CLOSED). Applications must be submitted online by the end of the school day, Friday, August 23rd. NO LATE APPLICATIONS BECAUSE IT IS A LOTTERY! (STEM Club Meeting dates are subject to change. In the event of school cancellation, STEM club will be canceled and not rescheduled.)
Judy Walley, TV High School Chemistry Teacher & STEM Club Educator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meghan Thoreau, CD & STEM Extension Educator, email@example.com
By: Emma Rico, Teays Valley High School STEM Club Mentor
Photo: Emma Rico leads the honey sampling station
Over the past year, I have been fortunate enough to be able to be apart of the STEM Club mentoring program at Teays Valley Elementary School Buildings. The program engages young minds in STEM challenges while stressing the importance of the science fields and problem solving skills. I watched the students eyes sparkle with curiosity and saw each grow as a student and an individual. However, when I’ve assisted with teaching the students, I also learned a couple extra things. I not only learned things in relation to the science topic that day (which I found very interesting), but I also learned more about myself. There is something about nurturing the minds of others that allows me to see myself more clearly and to impact others. The STEM mentoring program has allowed me to stretch my mind and the minds of others.
Photo taken by Emma Rico, bee keeper Louise Adkins leads discussion on bee anatomy.
This April the elementary students learned about the community, function, and purpose of one of the oldest creatures on earth: bees. With the help of OSU Extension, the Scioto Valley Beekeepers Association, Teays Valley School District, and a senior high school student, Erin Robinski, we have been able to teach the importance of bees and what we can do to help them survive in today’s changing environment.
Video produced by Emma Rico
We started off with a brief introduction by Tina Bobeck on the importance of bees being pollinators and the other variety of pollinators that exists, such as hummingbirds and bats, but also by monkeys, marsupials, lemurs, bears, rabbits, deer, rodents, lizards, and other animals. We learned surprising facts such that there are over five-hundred different types of bees that live in Ohio alone. The students also discovered some medical benefits from honeybee products, such as honey, bee pollen, propolis, Royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom, have all long been used in traditional medicine.
Photo by Emma Rico, Louise Adkins showing off honeybee products to students.
Erin Robinski provided a short presentation to the students on what flowers to plant to help the bees in our area. The program was fortunate to have the president of the Scioto Valley Beekeepers, Louise Adkins, talk to the students about the anatomy of the bee and what makes them unique. The students learned that bees have five eyes, communicate with their antennas, can see ultra light, and do not have lungs. (Instead, bees draw in oxygen through holes in their bodies known as spiracles and pump the oxygen through a system of increasingly tiny tubes that deliver oxygen directly to tissues and muscles!) The students were eager to learn more during this portion and tended to ask more questions then the program allotted for, but we appreciated the inquiring minds.
Photo taken by Emma Rico, Observation Hive built by bee keeper Tom Zwayer.
We also had the Vice President of the Scioto Valley Beekeepers, Tom Zwayer, talk to the students about the role of a beekeeper and how the hive functions. Zwayer share the bee hive history to the students. In the 1800s Lorenzo Langstroth, an American apiarist, clergyman, and teacher created the modern day beehive used today. Langstroth is considered the “father of American beekeeping (and lived most in life here in Ohio.) The students also learned how bees are very protective of their home and do not like outsiders. They were shown how beekeepers can add an accessory to a hive’s entry point to confuse outside insects and bees by changing the “front door” access point. Beekeepers also set internal traps in the hive to catch unwanted mites and beetles that can harm the hive and bees. The students were able to try on the beekeeper suits, look at some real bees in the observation hive, try honey, and ask more questions of our local bee experts. They even came up with questions that I had not even thought of!
Photo by Meghan Thoreau, students trying on beekeeper suits, O-H-I-O.
I think the bee program was one of my favorite STEM themes, because the students were able to learn about how small creatures keep our world alive. In addition, the students learned how they can help bees through planting local pollinators as well as growing food and treating for pests more sustainably. It doesn’t take much to make a big differences for bees. I feel honored to be able to influence young students in exploring STEM fields. It is an opportunity that I wish I could have been involved in more during high school. This program has allowed me to be more involved in the community, help ignite the flame of curiosity, and learn more about how the world around me works. It is one of the things that I will miss after graduation, but I hope that these young STEM students will grow and make real transformative impacts to come in our future!
A Foldscope is the ultra-affordable, paper microscope. It was designed to be extremely portable, durable, and to give optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes (magnification of 140X and 2-micron resolution). The Foldscope brings hands-on microscopy to new places and is especially great for our young STEMist to learn and explore with.
Students learned the basic components of a microscope, built their origami microscopes (as a take home STEM project), and engaged in a hands-on biology investigation lab.
Image source: STEM Club Foldscope Presentation, go.osu.edu/foldscope
Students also engaged in a club discussion on different research methods used in science.
QUANTITATIVE DATAcollection which is in a numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement. This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data.
QUALITATIVE DATA collection which is empirical, observations, surveys, or interviews. This type of data provides insights into the problem(s), helps to develop ideas, or hypothesis for potential quantitative research. Used to uncover trends and dive deeper into the problem.
The Foldscope is a learning product that can be self assembled and includes art through hands-on origami, photography, and drawing what is observed. Foldscope is used in classrooms in over 130 countries worldwide. You can skim through the presentation by visiting go.osu.edu/foldscope.
By: Allison Cheek, Teays Valley High School STEM Club Mentor
Throughout the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work as a STEM Club Program Mentor Assistant. This experience has benefited me in several ways. Working with elementary students, as well as teaching alongside other STEM mentors, has led me to choose a career path in math education. I continue to learn and grow each time I attend Teays Valley’s Elementary STEM Club programming.
The Elementary STEM Club program is a partnership program between Teays Valley School District and OSU Extension, Pickaway County. We visit each of the four elementary schools in our district. I have learned that each building has a unique atmosphere, which also means that the students are wired differently. They may come up with new questions or inventive ways to solve problems. My skills, as a future educator, are enhanced every time I am able to teach, explain, or demonstrate something to a student.
My favorite STEM challenge was assisting with the Egyptian mummy escape tomb! As part of the STEM team, I was able, along with several other mentors and educators, to attend an escape room training at Trapped Columbus in Columbus, OH. This helped the team plan and create our own escape room specifically geared with STEM challenges.
Students had to find clues and solve ancient Egyptian riddles to escape from a sealed tomb – in the dark – our attempts to recreating an authentic problem solving environment! Presentation by Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator
I also enjoyed helping the students learn how to program and fly drones. The students were exposed to dozens of career pathways where drones are being employed in the workplace.
Elementary students coding Parrot Drones in Swift Playground. Presentation by Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator
Allison Cheek, along with other STEM Program Mentors, assists with coding and drone flying challenges in Teays Valley Elementary STEM Club.
The biggest challenge of helping with STEM Club, is troubleshooting on the fly. STEM students are very curious, intelligent, and they ask very in-depth questions, some of which, I do not know the answers to or am able to fix all their problems. But I believe that’s ok, because the point is that they are thinking critical and seeking out solutions. Troubleshooting on the fly is difficult for me, but it definitely is expanding my adaptive skillset. With everything I learn, I am able to help and guide students into empowering themselves to problem solve. My favorite part of STEM is watching students light up with realization or creative ideas.
Cheek assists with Strategic Board Game Challenges
Cheek leads the students in a physical fitness challenge while wearing their Physbot fitness data trackers learning while learning about wearable technology and health monitoring. Presentation by Meghan Thoreau.
I feel that my job is accomplished when the students are having fun, while also gaining and understanding new material and concepts. This program is an awesome pathway to lead students into careers involving- science, technology, engineering, and math. Helping with STEM Club has been such an enriching and wonderful experience. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be involved.
Allison Cheek will be attending Bowling Green State University in the fall of 2019 for a degree in Secondary Education, Integrated Mathematics.
This past December students explored a variety of science and engineering principles. First, they learned more about the science of color and why snow is generally white in color, as well as engaged in hands-on activities that looked at gravity and contact and non-contact forces as well as shared in group discussions on how these forces can impact engineering and construction designs.
Why is snow white?
This is a timely winter question for our young STEMist. Having a “white” blanketed landscape is a common picturesque image conjured up during the winter months – it supports many winter activities such as sledding, snowman building, and backyard snow fort construction.
Photo by Meghan Thoreau
The students had some probing discussions and watched a short video from our favorite online science teacher, Doug Peltz, in his ‘Mystery Doug’ video science series. The students learned that color is determined by visible light and the particular particles of objects themselves.
Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color
The world is made up of many different objects that have many different combinations of atoms and molecules which vibrate at different frequencies that our eyes see as different colors. Snow is no different, it’s a collection of vibrating particles, but the way snow is made gives its particles a layering effect to consider when thinking about the answer.
Sounds complicated? First, the students considered what snow is made of – frozen water – and that water is clear, all things considered, so something happens when water freezes. Snow is made up of many different tiny pieces of ice particles and ice is not transparent or clear, it’s actually translucent. This is because ice particles are layered on top each other, and therefore, light can’t pass straight through, but is redirected in many different directions. The students took a snow making take home project to emphasize the layering translucent effect that creates a white snowflake ornament.
Light is scattered and bounces off the ice crystals in the snow. The reflected light includes all the colors, which, together, looks white. In some unusual situation depending on the surrounding light sources and frequencies of objects, snow can take a hint of yellow or purplish glow color from its normal bright white color.
Moving from color science to physics and force
What is a force?
Force is an agent which accelerates a body. The students learned a force is a push or a pull of one object on another object, but both objects have to be interacting with each other.
Gravity is a pulling force that acts between two things (such as a person’s body and the mass of the earth) but its effect depends on the mass and distance between the objects being pulled together. It was also fascinating for the students to learn that force doesn’t produce motion necessarily, but rather adds acceleration. Additionally, all objects have a center of mass or a center of gravity that impacts movement in accordance to the laws of physics. We decided to challenge the students further by having them consider objects and people launched into outer space with the forces of physics at play.
We shared a Big Think video from Michelle Thaller, Assistant Director for Science Community at NASA, Why Zero Gravity is a Myth. Thaller broke down rocket science concepts and misconceptions about gravity in outer space. Many people think astronauts in space are weightless and floating because there is zero gravity. To better understand the forces at hand, Thaller asked her viewers to consider the space station orbiting earth 200 miles away, completing an orbit once every 90 minutes. (Pretty amazing when you realize earth’s circumference is around 24,900 miles.)
The astronauts inside are not exactly weightless. In fact, the astronauts probably weigh 80 percent of their earth body weight and are still close enough to earth to feel earth’s gravitational pull. Scientists have to use powerful rockets that blast off into space with incredible speeds to reach the distance to orbit earth. The floating effect is achieved by understanding how the objects and people are launched into space at these high velocities, shooting around the earth at extreme speed, while simultaneously being pulled down by earth’s gravity.
The space station, for example, is moving around 17,000 mph and the astronauts inside are actually free falling down to the surface of the earth by the pull of gravity, like a falling ball launched from a cannon. Because the astronauts are also orbiting so fast forward, they actually continue to miss the earth as they fall with the pull of gravity, which in turn gives them the floating effect we associate with outer space images and video clips. That concept of traveling at extreme speeds while free falling and continually missing your target is the definition of an orbit.
The students applied some new physics concepts and experimented with hands-on forces and center of gravity challenges in STEM Club; forces of frictional, normal, and tension force challenges. Here’s a short video that highlights a few of our STEM Challenges.
In STEM Club, we stress the importance of multidisciplinary learning and problem-solving by allowing students to engage in hands-on STEM challenges. Remember, it takes more than one subject to solve real-world problems. It’s also important to stress a lifelong learning mode where the body and mind are working together. A healthy active mind requires a healthy active body; the two systems work and support each other.
Day 1: PhysBot Wearable Tech and Fitness Challenges
Students learned about wearable technology and the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle by exploring the PhysBot Data Tracker which inspires healthy minds. The PhysBot technology was developed through an Ohio-based partnership between Ohio State University Extension 4-H, Big Kitty Labs, and Tiny Circuits. For a quick club overview visit: go.osu.edu/PhysBot.
Our young STEMist learned that physical fitness matters. Our body and brain need a mix of activity and mind challenges to stay healthy. Teens need at least 60-minutes of active every day, where adults can get away with 150 minutes/week! Wearable technology is growing and becoming a popularized accessory for all ages. It’s estimated that in 2019 almost 90-million people in the U.S. will be wearing some form of wearable technology.
The PhysBot breaks down wearable technology and allows students to see and understand all the working components. The students also learn how to calculate their resting heartbeat by hand. Then they put on their individual PhysBot to compare their heart’s beats per minute (BPM) through an LED pulse sensor. Finally, the students engage in different physical fitness challenges while monitoring their BPMs. Students can also download their data to a computer using free downloadable software to continue investigating their physical activity results.
“When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing ‘fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won’t Matter, Cuz You’ll Know That You’re Right.”
Day 2: International Strategic Board Game Challenges
Coming up with strategies and tactics to over challenges and problems requires a 21st Century Skillset. November’s STEM Club focused on discovering new ways in plotting winning strategies which, later on, will foster more strategic thinking skills that could help when applied to real-life scenarios. Practicing strategizing skills is important and STEM Club exposed students to international strategic board games they can continue playing and learning from. The more these types of games are played, the better students will be at coming up with winning strategies and making smart decisions for a lifetime. The games shared came from around the world: Chess (India), Five Field Kono (Korea), Backgammon (the Middle East), Fox and Geese (Northern Europe), and Mū Tōrere (New Zealand).
Why are strategy games so important?
Strategy games are great for learning life skills, such as patience, self-control, and thinking critically. These types of games teach emotional competence and help students learn to control their impulses; not to make a decision immediately, but rather wait for a better more effective opportunity.
Strategic games help students learn to evaluate other factors at play, realizing that their next decision may actually cause more problems for them or possibly lead to a strategic advantage. Strategy games also help set and maintain goals while many avenues of thought and decisions have to be sorted through. Students start thinking of the next move, but in reality, they are looking further ahead, thinking how their next movie will lead to the next challenge. It’s that skill of anticipating the counter move that leads to making smart decisions in the future. These games teach student to make decisions after identifying the alternatives available to them and anticipating the possible consequences. And that is the basis to critical thinking.
Stay tune for December’s STEM Club highlight. Students will be diving into biology and building their own microscopes to study a variety of plant and animal specimens!
We thought we’d take advantage of the spooky mystery themes of Halloween and challenge our students to become science detectives, experimenting with hands-on activities involving chromatography, perception of vision, and phosphorescent slime chemistry.
The students became CSI lab technicians, tasked with solving a who-done-it pumpkin theft. All that was left at the scene of the crime was a letter demanding cookies! No finger prints were found, but six suspects where brought in for questioning and all six had different black markers on their person. The marker evidence was tagged and brought to the CSI lab along with the random letter for further analysis. Marker samples were taken and a chromatography test was performed by our young lab technicians.
Chromatography is a laboratory technique for the separation of a mixture (more specifically separation of molecules) and in our case black marker ink molecules. The ink was dissolved in a water solution process of a mobile to stationary phase, revealing distinct ink-finger prints for comparative analysis against an ink sample taken from the random note. The students discovered different ink molecules travel at different speeds, causing them to separate and reveal distinct color patterns that could help identify the pumpkin thief from the six suspects.
People don’t often pick up a marker or pen and think of molecules, but ink and paints are made up of atoms and the molecules, like everything, follow rules. Ink and paints follows the standard CPK rule, which is a popular color convention for distinguishing atoms of different chemical elements in molecular modeling (named after the chemists Robert Corey, Linus Pauling, and Walter Koltun). Basically, certain elements are associated with different color. For example,
Hydrogen = White
Oxygen = Red
Chlorine = Green
Nitrogen = Blue
Carbon = Grey
Sulphur = Yellow
Phosphorus = Orange
Other = Varies – mostly Dark Red/Pink/Maroon
PERCEPTION OF VISION
Persistence of vision refers to the optical illusion that occurs when visual perception of an object does not cease for some time after the rays of light proceeding from it have ceased to enter the eye. The discovery was first discussed in 1824 when an English-Swiss physicist named Peter Mark Roget presented a paper, “Explanation of an Optical Deception in the Appearance of the Spokes of a Wheel when seen through Vertical Apertures” to the Royal Society in London. Shortly after, in 1832, a Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau built a toy that took advantage of the optical illusion trick. (Photo below source: http://streamline.filmstruck.com/2012/01/07/the-persistence-of-persistence-of-vision/)
The toy made images move independently, but over lapped them or when placed in a series made them look as if they were walking, running, juggling, dancing. This concept soon laid the foundation to early film making. (Photo below source be: http://1125996089.rsc.cdn77.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/persistence-of-vision-transit.jpg)
The students learned how our eyes report basic imaginary back to the brain, or rather how our eyes perceive shapes, their motion, and their relative position from other objects. The students discovered that eyes are not simple windows to the world. Eyes do not see what is, but instead see approximations.
The students learned how different objects glow in the dark. First, students learned that heat is a good emitter of light, such as a fire or an old-fashioned light bulb, but heat isn’t always required to make something appear to glow. For example, bedroom glow-in-the-dark stickers, glow sticks, or fireflies do not require heat. The stickers and even certain types of rocks, like the Bologna Stone, require several hours of light to charge them in order to later glow. But glow sticks and fireflies, do not require heat or light, but instead deal with chemistry where two different elements are mixed together to make a ‘luminescent’ compound.
We talked about phosphorescence and the process in which energy absorbed by a substance is released slowly in the form of light. Unlike the relatively swift reactions in fluorescence, such as those seen in a common fluorescent tube, phosphorescent materials “store” absorbed energy for a longer time, as the processes required to re-emit energy occur less often.
Finally, we let the students become chemists and make their own phosphorescent slime for later glow in the dark fun after the compound was charged by light. The young chemists used measuring devices to concoct their spooky slime recipe.
Make another batch at home with your young chemist:
Add 20.0 mL of glue to cup
Add 15.0 mL of water to cup
Drop of preferred food coloring
Add a drop of glow in the dark phosphorescence paint
Add 12.0 mL of BORAX solution
STIR! It will be runny until you take it out of the cup and start to play with it.
Next month we will be challenging our STEMist in Mind and Body Challenges! Stay tuned to learn more about November’s STEM adventures.
Our STEM Club focuses on developing a lifelong learning mindset that supports our youth in exploring exciting STEM careers and promoting an engaged life. The 21st Century Skillset is a cycle of applied learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and learning by doing. Our STEM Challenges build foundational literacy skills, competencies, and character qualities that are critical to our day-to-day lives, how youth look at complex challenges, and how youth deal with their changing environment while retaining a growth mindset of persistence and grit. Below is an image that highlights important life skills that students and parents can work towards attaining.
September’s STEM Club: Day 1
Wondering what a club day looks like? Here’s a quick video, STEM in action. Try to listen to the communication going on, productive chaos.
Make sure to like us on Facebook, OSU Extension posts STEM Club Albums for parents who want to stay engaged!
September focused on two hands-on electric circuit challenges. The first engages students in designing and building an LED Display (light emitting diode) to light up their initials. Students learn basic electrical design components, how to read an electrical schematic, how to interpret an engineering data sheet, how to design the circuit, and finally how to build a LED Display Board! OSU Professor, Betty Lise Anderson, of The OSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering came down from campus each week to teach the electrical outreach activity she developed. Many thanks to her and her STEM team! Dr. Anderson is amazing and generous with her time, knowledge, and materials. To learn more about Dr. Anderson or the department click here. Below is an image of the LED Display and a sheet explaining how to read the pin connection table, and understanding an electric schematic and basic electrical symbology. Each student determines which of the 16 segments of the LED display they need to connect resisters in their bread board.
Our program benefits immensely not just by our STEM Educators and OSU Extension’s partnership, but by the high school mentors that come and make the difference in young people’s lives by offering stable relationships to support students’ academic and social development. Below one high school mentor, Summer, came to assist despite it being Homecoming week. She received a round of applause by our students as she walked into the classroom!
Below we have a short video that allows you to see first hand students building an LED Display, but also demonstrating team building skills – one elementary student takes a moment to help a fellow STEMist troubleshoot the correct wire connection. May seem small, but this is an extremely important skill for real world success.
September’s STEM Club: Day 2
Our second STEM challenge took the knowledge the students learned about electric schematics and circuits and applied it to building a LED flashlight (take home project). The challenge involved basic materials, an cardboard box, copper wire, a battery, a resister, and a LED (light omitting diode), but it also introduced a switch.
Inside the Flash Light
Future Engineers! O-H-I-O
October’s STEM Club will involved a little Chemistry in Action!
Welcome parents and fellow STEMist. Meet Meghan Thoreau (OSU Extension Educator) and Judy Walley (TV High School Chemistry Teacher), the co-educators, for Teays Valleys’ Elementary STEM Club. We have the same eye wear tastes, find inspiration in Einstein, and love being tasked with engaging kids in hands-on learning challenges and life skills.
We created this site to help everyone keep up-to-date with all the STEM activities we’ll be involved in this year, read the student STEM blog posts, and visit the STEM club calendar so you know when your student club dates are.
There are still a few spots left for Ashville and South Bloomfields’s 4th-5th grader, so act fast! Kids engage twice a month in hands-on STEM activities and learn about careers in STEM through out the school year. If your child is looking for fun challenges, hands-on learning, problem solving, helping people, and making a difference in the world sign them up now! Applications is available at: http://www.tvsd.us/Downloads/STEM_club.pdf. Continue to visit this site as students, educators, and guest speakers will share posts and updates!