Westfield Academy Elementary held their first STEM day

Professor Jabot of SUNY Fredonia with the Cube VR device.

WESTFIELD — The Westfield Academy Elementary School held its very first STEM day on Friday, Jan. 18.

(STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.) Students in Grades K through 5 gathered in the auditorium for a kick off assembly. Dr. Michael Jabot, a science professor from Fredonia State University was the guest speaker. Dr. Jabot spoke about his first hand experiences with the inception of the STEM philosophy. STEM encourages students to work within the four instructional topics collaboratively and connectively, not in the normal isolated ways of learning. Dr. Jabot introduced an example of STEM innovation-Virtual Reality Glasses that connect a cell phone app, and a specialized 3D cube. Through the partnership of the three devices students were able to view current NASA weather conditions. This was accomplished during his break-out session with the 4th and 5th grade class later in the morning.

During the assembly students learned a brief history of STEM shown through motivational videos. A timeline discussion provided by the WACS STEM committee members placed an emphasis on the Next Generation Science Standards. Students then divided into grade level stations all throughout the Elementary wing participating in hands on STEM experiments spanning the whole curriculum. They were exposed to a wide variety of topics that included: Simple machines, light, electricity, weather, building engineering, weights and measures, magnets and gravity, microscopes, as well as several other STEM related activities.

Future STEM days are planned for March and May of this year, allowing WACS elementary to really get involved in the STEM movement. The committee is also looking forward to next year and hoping that there will be even more STEM days for the students to learn from and enjoy.

When asked about his visit to Westfield Dr. Jabot said, “It is just so exciting to see a district focus on the importance of STEM in kids lives and their futures. I was just so honored and humbled to have played a small role in the incredible work that the teachers and administrators at Westfield did to make this happen!”