STEM Class at NH-M
Science Tech Engineering and Math Course
Posted on 11/05/2015
Makey-Makey Station

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) class has come to New Holland-Middletown!  Already a 1:1 school (every student has their own iPad or Chromebook laptop) for over two years, the first Google Apps for Education district in Logan County is now offering a semester-long STEM class to district middle schoolers.

Miss Hannah Durchholz, Junior High Science and Math teacher at New Holland-Middletown, is taking advantage of this semester-long enrichment course to provide students with hands-on learning, real-world connections, and creative approaches to problem-solving.  Using innovative equipment such as a Makey-Makey station where students program movements in a code, all while obeying laws of electricity grounding and insulation.  In the provided picture, students wrote a code for Pac-Man’s movements, based on which students’ hands were grounded from the current supplied by the Makey-Makey, which was plugged into the students’ laptop.  For example, to move Pac-Man to the right, one particular student had to be “high-fived” while in order to move him down, a different student had to have their hand clapped.  While not overly complex to play, the creation of this “code” by NH-M 6th graders showed how engaged students could become by providing their own direction for their learning.

As the semester continues, students will be designing and engineering by utilizing TinkerCAD software and 3-D printers, as well as writing lessons for Hour of Code, which occurs in mid-December and other activities associated with making.

STEM class was recently added to New Holland-Middletown’s “exploratory” course lineup in the wake of statistics that show 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs by 2018.  Additionally, the higher order thinking skills that students are required to apply in solving complex STEM problems challenge students enough to keep them intellectually engaged, thereby ensuring the skills and content are not only learned, but mastered.