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MANNING - Automation, robotics and 3D drafting are just a few of the transformative learning experiences the students of Clarendon School District 2 will encounter this year through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
S.T.E.P.S., or Students Thinking, Exploring and Problem Solving for Success, is the driving force behind STEM instruction at CSD2. Using "Project Lead the Way" as STEM's major platform, students will be engaging in hands-on activities and projects and solving real-world problems. CSD2 teachers will be using STEM to transform learning experiences for students from PreK through 12th grade.
Manning Elementary School's STEM Coach Johni McElveen and STEM Coordinator Marian Marlowe have been working with teachers for the past five years to "STEMify" the school's core content areas of science and social studies through "inquiry-based learning."
"We have seen considerable student achievement in classrooms where the teacher has embraced this type of inquiry-based learning," McElveen said.
On the secondary level, Manning Junior High School is featuring STEM classes in automation and robotics.
"In our automation and robotics STEM classes, our students learn the basics about what automation and robotics are," said Amanda Bailey, a teacher at MJHS. "Whenever students are presented with a project, they must recall information about gears, torque and input to complete the assignment."
Bailey said the students utilize metal or plastic gears and structures, follow directions and specific criteria to complete the design process. MJHS students are using the same methods that are being used in industry to develop products, she added.
"We are using the software Robot C, and it is used in industry here in Clarendon County at Georgia Pacific," Bailey said.
Students at MJHS and MHS are also using 3D software to design, visualize and test product ideas. The software allows the students to create product prototypes that simulate weight, stress, friction and more in a simulated 3D environment. The same software the students are using is also being used by Boeing.
"Students are finding out how what they are learning now applies to future careers," Bailey added. "In the design and modeling class, we look at different careers in the engineering field. Students come to realize that the engineering field is very broad."
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