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Students Strengthen Writing Skills with STEM Activity

September 28, 2018

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Students at Summit Lane Elementary School are strengthening their script writing abilities with the school's new "Summit Script Fridays." Older classes are incorporating this important handwriting skill into their lessons each Friday. Fourth-graders in Christine Pase and Michelle Matos' class participated in "Save Fred," a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activity that placed an emphasis on script writing on Sept. 21.

Using a gummy ring which served as a life preserver, a gummy worm named Fred and a paper clip, the students were challenged to get Fred into the life preserver using only a paper clip and not their hands. Once in the life preserver, the students had to use the paperclip to put Fred back into his boat (a cup). Working in groups of two or three students, they first brainstormed on how to successfully get Fred into the life preserver and then put their ideas to the test.

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The students learned teamwork and perseverance as they tried to save their worm, even after failing. Once the groups successfully completed the challenge and put Fred back in his boat, they each filled out a flowchart where they put their script writing abilities in action. Students wrote a description of how they saved Fred, drew what they did, explained what challenges they came across, rated the difficulty of saving Fred and rated their enjoyment of the activity which unanimously resulted in five out of five stars.

"My favorite part was trying to put the life preserver on Fred," said fourth-grader Eliana Nemeth. "It was hard but fun."

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Once every group completed the STEM activity, the class gathered back together to discuss the task and how they did. Students shared their strategies as their peers gave positive feedback to those who successfully saved Fred. For displaying the school's initiative of P.R.I.D.E. (Patience, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence) during the activity, each student received two P.R.I.D.E. coupons which can go toward prizes during the school year.

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