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Students Going 'Full STEAM Ahead' With After School Program
Making A Marshmallow Blaster
This school year, 53 William Penn students are staying after school one day a week to participate in a program called Full STEAM Ahead.
This program is a partnership with WQED, that incorporates PBS Kids characters to reinforce important primary math concepts such as shapes and measurements.  Students meet two Mondays a month from November through March from 3:30 to 5 PM.  They enjoy a quick snack before watching a brief PBS Kids video featuring characters such as Peg and Cat, to introduce the concept for the week.
Then the students break off into three groups to rotate through three activities.  During their time in the Computer Lab, the students participate in exercises that reinforce the previous week's concept.  In the Library the students participate in a hands-on activity that coincides with the current week's concept.  In the Gym, the students participate in a fun, hands-on STEAM activity.
During the lesson on measurements, Computer Lab students used the computer and OSMO on an iPad to reinforce the previous week's lesson on shapes.  In the Library, the students used different things, such as rulers, blocks and pen caps to measure things such as a piece of paper, the back of a chair or the length of a friend's hand.  In the Gym, the students made marshmallow blasters out of manila folders to see whose marshmallow could travel the farthest.
The younger students are paired up with an older student who serves as their mentor for the program, building continuity and friendship.
The program is coordinated by Penn Teacher Laura Huth, with assistance from Jessica Nachreiner and Pamela Backstrom.
Please click here to see some photos from the lesson on measurements.