TROY — Some students can’t wait to head home once the school bell rings, but members of the Hook Elementary School’s STEM Club can’t wait to stay in class.
Third grade teachers Nathan Hoffman and Karen Warnecke kick-started the now expanded program as a “Tech Club” for students last year. This school year, Presidential Award winning teacher Susan Dankworth joined to expand the club to expand the scope of the program to include science, technology, engineering and math or STEM enrichment opportunities to interested students after-school.
Hoffman and Warnecke were awarded the Outstanding New Student Program for their work with their first year members of the technology club by the Southwest School Board Association.
Students also delved into the world of robotics, even programming and coding. Students also program the robots to draw using markers, making technology fun and accessible to the elementary students.
“They love coding,” Hoffman said. “They can do it all if you put it in their hands and give them the opportunity to explore.”
And the students’ response has been overwhelming.
According to Hook Elementary School Principal Penny Johnson, so many students signed up for the after-school club, they had to include an application process. Johnson has designated a $1,000 grant from the school’s principal fund to help expand the club’s projects and materials needed.
The club meets once a week. This week, students brainstormed ideas on how to improve one thing they use each day — their backpacks.
Students designed the ultimate backpacks to include space for their phones or tablets, the ever-important charging devices, or even a mobile gum ball machine.
Savanna Gibson, added the gum ball machine to her bag to add some fun features to the ordinary backpack.
Meredith Atkinson, 8, designed her book bag to carry sport gear necessities like her soccer ball.
“We get to be in groups and use like, LEGO, and our robots and make cool stuff,” Atkinson said.
Elizabeth Fisher may be close to predicting the future of education with her book-less book bag, which features wireless access to books, assignments and other important apps.
“My favorite part is making prototypes of stuff,” Fisher said.
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