Event Shows How Students Learn Science the STEMscopes Way

Event Shows How Students Learn Science the STEMscopes Way

PHOTO: Students participate in a breakout session at STEMscopes Night held Feb. 6 at Elm Middle School. Scroll down for more photos, or click here for a photo gallery.


More than 100 parents and students turned out for District 401's STEMscopes Parent & Community Night, held Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Elm Middle School.

The event, organized by Ms. Anne Hufnus, D401's reading director/Title I coordinator, and led by Elmwood Elementary School science and math teacher Ms. Morgan Freeck, gave attendees a chance to learn more about the District's science curriculum for grades K-8.

Known as STEMscopes, the curriculum is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards and emphasizes student-driven inquiry and exploration of the subject.


Elmwood teacher Ms. Morgan Freeck gives a slide presentation about STEMscopes.

PHOTO: Elmwood science and math teacher Ms. Morgan Freeck presents an overview of STEMscopes at the District's Feb. 6 event. D401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image to enlarge).


Introducing STEMscopes


After attendees enjoyed an opening round of pizza and conversation, Ms. Freeck presented an overview of STEMscopes.

Her slide presentation, which is available here for downloading, highlighted the curriculum's "5E+IA" instructional model

► Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate
► Intervention and Acceleration

Attendees then went to the following grade-level breakout sessions, where parents watched as their students participated in STEMscopes learning activities

► Grades K-1
Session: "Energy from the Sun — Save the Chocolate!"
Facilitators: Ms. Bieterman & Ms. Ciezkowska (ECC)

► Grades 2-3
Session: "Building Blocks of Matter — Tower Building"
Facilitators: Ms. Mangiamele & Ms. Windisch (Elmwood) 

► Grades 4-5
Session: "Wavelength and Amplitude — Waves in Earth"
Facilitators: Ms. Johnson & Ms. Pfeifer (John Mills)

► Grades 6-8
Session: "Changes in Motion, Force and Direction — Balloon Car"
Facilitators: Ms. Freeck (Elmwood)

After the breakout sessions, students and parents were invited to choose from an assortment of science books and resource materials to take home.


Elm students build a balloon car.

PHOTO: Elm students prepare a balloon car for testing during a breakout session about changes in motion, force and direction. D401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image to enlarge).


A Successful Evening


By the time the breakout sessions ended, it was clear the event had achieved its goal of informing the community about D401's approach to teaching science.    

"I was happily astonished by the large number of families who came out to learn about STEMscopes," Ms. Freeck said. "The purpose of the event was to educate our community on science education and give parents a chance to ​observe their children engag​ing, explor​ing and explain​ing​​ within a STEMscopes lesson. I feel that we did just that!

"I especially enjoyed seeing ​the middle school students and their parents take part in a balloon-car building challenge [see photo of students above]. Their creativity and ingenuity was inspiring!"

Thanks to everybody who attended our STEMscopes event to learn more about how our District is serving the educational needs of our students.


Photos from STEMscopes Parent & Community Night


NOTE: The following is a sample of our STEMscopes photo gallery, which can be found here. All photos are by Dave Porreca, D401 web/media specialist. Click any image for a larger view.


Introductory session about STEMscopes

Attending the introductory session about STEMscopes


Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!

Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!


Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!

Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!


Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!

Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!


Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!

Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!


Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!

Grade K-1 Session: Energy from the Sun — Engineering Solutions — Save the Chocolate!


Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building

Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building


Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building

Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building


Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building

Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building


Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building

Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building


Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building

Grade 2-3 Session: Building Blocks of Matter — Engineering Solutions — Tower Building


Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth

Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth


Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth

Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth


Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth

Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth


Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth

Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth


Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth

Grade 4-5 Session: Wavelength and Amplitude — Engineering Solutions — Wave in Earth


Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force and Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car

Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force, Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car


Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force and Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car

Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force, Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car


Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force and Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car

Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force, Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car


Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force and Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car

Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force, Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car


Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force and Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car

Grade 6-8 Session: Changes in Motion, Force, Direction — Project-Based Learning — Balloon Car


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