Students practicing with STEM kits

Submitted story

Second graders in Melanie Asman’s class are saving towns, building bridges and conducting rescues every week.

Asman explains the students are learning the ins and outs of engineering thanks to a $500 Energizing Energy grant that she applied for and received from the Logan County Electric Cooperative this school year.

She used the money to purchase several Real World Science STEM Challenge Kits.

Now her second graders are learning science, technology, engineering and math skills every Friday.

“I like to end a week of hard work with something fun and challenging that the students love and are interested in doing. My goal is to expose the students to real world problems and let them design their own solutions,” Asman said.

The Challenge Kits contain several scenarios to conquer. The students must come up with ways to save a town from a flash flood, rescue a toy bear from a well and guide a family safely across a bridge. So far, students are having fun and success.

Second grader Haley Metzger and her partner Peyton True spent the first week figuring out how to hold the water back with the flash flood challenge.

“It’s not easy being an engineer, but I liked putting the pieces together to make our dam. It was fun,” Metzger said.

Students work in groups and rotate through the scenarios each week. They must communicate their observations, investigations and explanations of how they came to the solution for each problem.

Logan County Electric Cooperative Director of Communications Michael Wilson says the co-op is glad to support the STEM learning project.

“Logan County Electric Cooperative is guided by the seven Cooperative Principles. The fifth principle is Education, Training and Information. Cooperatives provide education and training for members. This value is part of our business model and it is with great pleasure that we partner with our local schools to help promote education,” Wilson said. “That is why it makes sense for Logan County Electric Cooperative to provide grants to our local schools and support the education process. This is the business model of cooperatives and it is wonderful to watch the students in our local schools gain knowledge through grants that we were able to provide.”

Asman hopes these challenges spark interest in STEM careers for her students in the future.

Submitted story