This year's Talawanda Middle School STEAM Club got off to a roaring start, we had over 35 kids show up for the introductory meeting. Sadly, I forgot my camera, at some point I will try to get photos from Rod's phone to post here but I'll give a quick rundown of what we did. Our thought was to give a brief introduction to some of the different areas we might explore with the club through the year. We divided into four stations kids could rotate through every 30 minutes.
One station was designed by Alex mains, our math undergraduate student who helped with the club all last year. Alex is student teaching this semester so we will not have him around for the next few months but he was excited to get the kids playing with math. He had a plan for drawing geometric shapes by generating iterative number sequences that he thought I could run with the kids. After reading through the instructions a couple times I decided maybe I wasn't the best person for the job I enlisted Todd Edwards, professor of math education at Miami, to come help out and he was amazing as always. Todd has an incredible gift for engaging with children and the kids loved this process, many started writing programs on their school issued Chrome books to generate the sequences and images as well.
The next station was led by Colin Petrello, a math education graduate student, who is helping us with the club this year. Colin had kids building structures using garbanzo beans and toothpicks and then testing to see which structures could support the most weight. There were some amazing designs ranging from whimsical to methodical which could hold shocking amounts of lacrosse balls.
Rod ran a station where kids made drawings to overlay a pattern of LEDs we made light up using conductive tape and a watch battery mounted on plexiglass. This was a fun introduction to combining creative making and circuitry which we will explore more in the next couple of meetings of the club.
Finally, Alex Trassare, another math graduate student helping out this year, had kids throwing various objects - but most notably raw eggs, at a sheet to explore impact and velocity.