Highlands Blog

STEM Summer Camps

Highlands School is thrilled to unveil our new STEM labs in the Learning Center and Middle School buildings. The labs are equipped with workstations, where students  have everything necessary to work through the curriculum. Each workstation has  a table, workspace, computer and resources. The labs also have additional space for whole group instruction that includes a large format interactive touch screen.

During the LEGO Education Early Simple Machines and STEM in the GYM, students explored simple machines such as the Wedge, Seesaw Lever, Wheel and Axle Demonstrator, Wall Pulley, Big Gears Demonstrator, Screw Hatch, and Inclined Plane. They investigated what makes a tool, built their own tools, and created a 3D standing building.

The third grade STEM camp completed the Energy and Work Mission, where students collaborated to investigate energy and work. The fourth grade STEM camp focused on Design and Tests Mission. Teams worked collaboratively to learn about the Design Process. They followed the steps of that process to design, build and test picture holders. The Crime Lab Mission was explored with the fifth grade camp. The crew worked collaboratively to investigate the crime by analyzing physical traits, fingerprints, DNA and other clues to find out who stole a CD out of a locker.

During our Middle School STEM camps, the sixth grade students explored Carbon Footprint. This mission introduced students to greenhouse gases and global warming. They learned about carbon and the natural carbon cycle, as well as the effects people have on it. Their mission was to explore what elements create the carbon footprint and how to lessen their negative impact on the environment.

Rocketry and Space was the mission explored by seventh graders. Students learned about the development of rocketry and the US Space Program. After exploring the scientific principles of rocket design, and propulsion, they constructed and launched a model rocket.

Future Fuels was the mission for our eighth grade STEM camp. During this camp, students explored the need to find replacements for fossil fuels, while investigating renewable and nonrenewable resources and their impact on the environment. They explored alternative energies including wind, geothermal, and hydropower.
 
The summer STEM campers that tested our new labs were eager and excited to work on the missions each day. To quote a few:
“This is awesome!”
“What I like about STEM is that it’s not just reading, it’s reading and then hands on, and I like hands on.”
“Epic!”
“It was super fun!”
“Amazing!”
“I love the STEM lab because the supplies are right near you, and there is plenty of space.”
“This is the best camp here, and there is so much fun that happens in one hour.”
“I love working with others, and I love what we are working on.”

As you can see, the STEM camps were a hit with our students, and just a hint of the student engagement that every Highlands student will experience when they participate in STEM in the Gym, and LEGO education Early Simple Machines, or the Missions and Modules in the labs throughout the year.

We hope you will make a point to visit the STEM labs and talk to your child or grandchild about all the exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math happening at Highlands School.
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Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.