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STEAM Skills Are The Focus Of Fall Family Creative Learning Program
Students test their car's ability to travel down a ramp covered with three different surfaces.
The fall session of Lincoln's Family Creative Learning Program focuses on STEAM skills.
This is the second year for this program, which is part of a five-year PBS Ready to Learn Grant, and 20 Lincoln families are returning to school one Wednesday a week for four weeks to enjoy a meal together and to work as a family on some very cool STEAM-themed projects.
During the first week, families looked at mixtures.  The second week they had fun creating wearables--clothing that could protect them, or keep them cool or dry.  The third week looked at "Stick or Slide," where families built ramps with different surfaces and had to predict whether a small toy car would be able to stick or slide down the surface.  The final week dealt with building and construction.
All four weeks of the program included several hands-on activities that families could work on together.  During the "Stick or Slide" activity, families worked together to match up scientific words such as collaboration, surface, texture and data collection with their definitions.  Then they worked on building their ramps, covering them with three different surfaces such as wax paper, towels, play dough and bubble wrap, to determine if a Matchbox car would be able to glide over the surfaces.
This program is based on the PBS character Ruff Ruffman, one of the Spy Hounds who encourages students to get involved with science.  The program runs from 5:30 to 7:30 PM and is designed to give families a designated time to eat, explore, make and share together.  From the smiles on the participants' faces, it is easy to see that the program is meeting expectations.
Partnering with Lincoln this year is Venture Outdoors, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization, which also provides some additional assistance and activities for the Family Creative Learning program.  For the "Stick or Slide" module, Venture Outdoors brought a couple of kid-sized bicycles to Lincoln and students had the opportunity to ride the bikes over a different surfaces, to see how the bikes handled from surface to surface.
Lincoln will offer a Family Creative Learning program in the spring, with a whole new topic!  Coordinating the program for Lincoln is First Grade Teacher Dawn Douds and Librarian Denice Pazuchanics.
Please click here to see some photos from the "Protective Clothing" and the "Stick or Slide" modules.