Mountain Charter School hosted its first annual STEAM night on January 24th, reaching out to students, parents, alumni, and community members to engage in STEAM activities for all age ranges. A wide variety of activities were available to explore, designed by community members in STEAM fields, Mountain School staff, and their fellow classmates. These activities ranged from math games to stargazing to having discussions about the importance of our local watersheds.
Lowell Observatory: STEAM night attendees navigated the stars with Mary Lara from Lowell Observatory. Attendees searched for constellations, galaxies, and nebulae while enjoying a s’more. At the stargazing station, students learned the importance of space exploration and gained insight on why we should all take a moment to look to the stars.
Coding: As students finished their s’mores they moved inside to investigate all that STEAM night had to offer. Students practiced coding with Mountain School’s kindergarten teacher and programmed a coding mouse to move along their desired path to get to its final destination.
Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project: The Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project was there to emphasize the importance of wolves and their positive impacts in our ecosystems. By learning about the region wolves inhabit, how to identify them, and their impact on the ecosystem, students were motivated to take action for wolves and help educate their peers.
Oak Creek Watershed Council: Students and community members also participated in activities put on by the Oak Creek Watershed Council learning the importance of Oak Creek watershed and the effect it has in their communities. Students walked through the effects of litter and how long it can last in an ecosystem. Student also learned through a 3D model of the watershed how litter is carried through our watershed and in some cases into drinking water. Through these activities students were informed and motivated to implement “Leave No Trace” practices into their daily lives.
Tynkertopia: Tynkertopia worked with students as well to learn the importance of engineering all while tapping into their creative side. Students dipped paper into water and paint to create works of art and see where art and science intersects. Tynkertopia inspired students to look outside the box and problem solve creatively and in their own unique way.
Teacher- and Student-Led STEAM Activities: Teachers and peers also provided a range of activities that explored many areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Creating snowflakes, students learned about symmetry and that harmonious proportion and balance is important in both art and math. Using prisms, students learned about the color spectrum, and investigated how light passes through a prism and separates into the colors of the rainbow. Students discovered that light and color can be both beautiful and educational! Boat building, the engineering behind oil spill clean up, and how the design of a bird’s beak affects its diet were all among the topics to investigate. Students learned about force and motion, friction, and magnetism through a series of exciting games, and discovered the bones in a human hand. Math games from the classroom were a popular activity, and students had a chance to be the teachers as they shared with their parents.
Mountain Charter School’s STEAM Night exposed students and community members to all that STEAM has to offer. STEAM Night not only opened attendee’s minds to all the different fields STEAM encompasses, but connected local community members and the Mountain School families in a night of STEAM, games, and family fun!
Written by Crystal Routhe