It was the buzz of excitement only discovery can create that filled the air Thursday, February 28, as nearly 200 Indian Hill Primary School (IHPS) families from kindergarten through second-grade spent an evening in class. Greeted by an entire staff dressed in white lab coats, this was a lesson in what STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is all about.
“Our students are the perfect age to begin STEM learning,” said IHPS Principal Jim Nichols. “Helping students think critically, collaborate with others, develop resilience, and foster a love for science, technology, engineering, and math are important skills as we prepare our youngest learners for jobs that may not have even been developed yet.”
Professional career discussion was led by Indian Hill School District parents who have STEM-centered jobs by setting up interactive learning stations; from drone navigation, to shampoo development, to chemical engineering – parents became the teachers on a wide variety of topics. Additionally, IHPS teachers set up stations for both students and parents to experience STEM learning hands-on. Nichols said it was an evening three years in the making.
“During that time, Indian Hill Primary School has developed a strong STEM program,” explained Nichols. “Teachers Monica Dawkins and Jennifer Anders led the work of our staff to visit other schools, secure materials, and develop regular opportunities for our students to engage in STEM activities and thinking. Students in every grade level have regular STEM classes with these two incredible professionals. We wanted to take this energy and share it with our families because the education of a child is a partnership between school and home. This was an evening our parents and our students could share.
“I hope parents walked away with a better understanding of what STEM is and why it is a critical part of our program as well as a feeling for how schools are moving into the future. I hope students had a wonderful night learning and sharing STEM activities with their families.”