UC Berkeley's Hall of Science brings STEM program to Calistoga Elementary School

UC Berkeley's Hall of Science brings STEM program to Calistoga Elementary School


On Oct. 8, Calistoga Elementary School was transformed into an engineering creation station, thanks to the Lawrence Hall of Science from UC Berkeley.

The “Build an Engineer” function was a hands-on activity for kids to create and construct bridges, roller coasters, rockets, buildings, and more.

“This event is for kids to have a hands on experience to engineer, to get to design things, and to have their own creative way to express themselves,” said Ime Edokpayi, a representative of the Lawrence Hall of Science. Edokpayi, along with staff and parents, agreed that it is important for kids to work on and have fun with STEM activities.

The event was exciting for both the students and their parents. Stations were set up for them to check out and participate in construction activities. Kids created stomp rockets which are blasted by stomping on inflated rubber pads connected to pipes. Other students used Jenga game tiles to create buildings, and paper and cardboard to make roller coaster prototypes.The goal of Lawrence Hall of Science is to prepare future science innovators and explorers. They organize local and national programs and events to help and inspire more than 12 million children in many countries. The program returned to Calistoga after a five-year absence. According to Calistoga Elementary School Principal Nicole Lamare, the objective of this event was to find original ways to engage in engineering and mathematics.

“It made sense to bring this event back after five years because we are really looking for, with the change in our common core math, is for our students and our families to be flexible in their thinking and approach to mathematics,” Lamare said.

Students put forward their best effort in creating the structures at each station, putting their focus, time and skill on the things they built. Suspense was at its peak when students competed to build the highest tower using Jenga blocks. Everyone was captivated by the height of the tower and the determination of the students to keep building it taller. When suddenly it collapsed, however, students stared at the heap of blocks before starting over again. Students who demonstrated the most interest and dedication were given an engineering kit for building miniature cars or buildings.

The Lawrence Hall of Science engages families to get involved in curricular activities and educational events. To learn more visit their website at lawrencehallofscience.org.

Saida Morales is a student at Calistoga Junior-Senior High School.

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