Spark STEM Academy
At McLaughlin Strickland Elementary, students learn the concepts of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through a variety of methods. Kindergarten through fifth graders use a curriculum called Engineering in Elementary (EiE). Students explore and innovate using this rigorous system of learning. In addition, LEGO Education curriculum expands the fun and learning for our Tigers. The older McLaughlin Strickland students use a program called WeDo 2.0, which connects to the Chromebooks via Bluetooth and allows students to program their builds to light up, make sound, and move. They also learn to code and have designed video games using grade level content.
Students in grades first through fifth collect projects and examples of their learning in digital portfolios and webpages. The goal is to add onto the site each year so that students, after their time at McLaughlin Strickland, will have a website full of STEM learning.
In addition to students’ opportunities for STEM lessons through specials, the library offers a variety of STEM opportunities through coding and Makerspace. Furthermore, teachers work with curriculum lessons to extend and integrate STEM learning in the classroom setting.
The Spark STEM Academy also teaches students the soft skills of teamwork, cooperation, listening, perseverance and problem-solving. Students spend some time talking about 21st century skills and digital citizenship each year.