Curriculum and Instruction

The 4th Annual South Orangetown STEAM Camp was a huge success! More than 300 students in grades K-8 have been engaged in a wide world of science over the past two weeks. Kindergarten and first grade students became botanists by exploring different parts of plants and their jobs. Students spent a lot of time outdoors exploring Nature in the various gardens and courtyards at TZHS. They became tech savvy with Mrs. Nadler learning how to program our Dash and Dot robots to accomplish various tasks. Ms. Rossi gave students a solid foundation on the ins and outs of architecture, while Mrs.Fanning allowed students to use those skills and their creativity to help fairy tale characters solve their problems. One example was how they helped Jack deliver the golden egg safely from the top of the beanstalk and designed a cage for Hansel and Gretel to capture the witch! Ms. Rega, Ms. Grillo, and Ms. Grasso allowed students to show off their creativity when they combined science stories with mult-media art activities where they made jellyfish, stained glass, and tie-dye. Coach Steinghasser got the students hearts racing exploring the science of sports.

Our second and third grade students calmed their bodies with the science of mindfulness with Ms. Kolesar, making rain sticks and zen gardens.They revved back up with Mrs. Nybro and her science of force, motion and engineering and design process. Students competed in various design challenges involving cup-stacking, marble and ramp activities, and more. These skills were also applied to Mr. Gunther’s helicopter and car design course. Students were able to show off their creative side in Mrs. LaBrake and Mrs. Cosgrove’s Science and Math inspired art classes by making pictures with light and making foldable geometric art. The second and third grade students also explored how ecosystems were interconnected with Mrs. Barsanti when they built their own ecosystems out of recycled soda bottles.

Our fourth and fifth grade students explored the the world of Spheros Robots designing various contraptions to house their Spheros, compete in completing mazes as well as other challenges. They also discussed coding and design concepts with Mr. Speno. These students combined science and math when they created tesselation creations and geo-block pictures with Mrs. Yapkowitz. They also combined math and art with Ms. Salerno in her graphs and glyphs class. Students put their engineering skills to the test in Mr. Borawski and Mr. Lorusso’s Rube Goldberg design class trying to accomplish tasks such as put toothpaste on a toothbrush, put Mentos into a coke bottle or flip a pancake. Students also put these skills to the test in Mrs. Grennan’s chains reaction course making domino mazes and pulley powered contraptions. Lastly they became biologists with Ms. Cardenas when discussing various animal adaptations.

Our sixth through eighth grade curriculum revolved around physics, space and math. Students studied astronomy and the various space objects with Mr. Rand. His class involved creating a scale model of the solar system and the evidence behind the various theories of space and its components. Mr. Adler allowed students to explore the science of rockets where students design and launch their own rockets. Mr. Goldstein allowed students to explore the concepts of force and motion by building parachutes that allow objects to drop without breaking and designing basketball games with the concepts potential and kinetic energy. Last, but not least, students showed off their creative side by using math to design their own tesselation design with Ms. Premus.

We have had such a great time working with the students this summer and are looking forward to more fun next summer! A special thank you to the STEAM Camp staff, students, parents, high school interns, and Jessenia Cursio, my STEAM camp co-coordinator, for all of your support with this program! Check out some of our pics!

Written by: Samantha Levine, Instructional Science Coach (K-8).




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