By Beverly French, Envison Board Member and Arts, Culture & Entertainment Signals Team

“If you had two sheets of newspaper and ten inches of tape, how tall a structure could you build with them? ”
That’s the sort of question Rutgers Prep lower and middle school students are asked every week in JoAnn Miller’s STEAM class. Combined with the IDEAS program (Innovation, Design, Engineering, Application and Skills), Ms. Miller’s class and others at Rutgers Prep are meant to give students in grades one through eight opportunities to explore their regular classroom work in a teamwork scenario, using problem solving, observation, experimentation and creativity.

Combining IDEAS and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), these New Jersey youngsters, working in teams, tackle intriguing intellectual challenges and actually produce tangible results – followed by lab reports. Some examples:

  • First graders calculated how many drops of water will fit on a penny.
  • Sixth graders built a fully functional wind-powered vehicle.
  • Second graders built a storm proof community that could withstand the “hurricane” force of wind from a hair dryer and “flood” waters from squirt bottles.

Read the full article here. (You will also learn how high a structure you might build with those two sheets of newspaper and ten inches of tape!)