Mandel JDS Holds STEM Fair
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Mandel JDS Holds First Annual Stem Fair as a Part of School-Wide Technology Initiative
With activities like “Flying Eggs” and “Don’t Burst the Balloon,” it’s no wonder students and parents alike walked out of Mandel Jewish Day School happy and, more importantly, a little bit more educated. Mandel JDS held their first annual STEM Fair, on Sunday, March 6. The concept of STEM (an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) took hold of the building as students and parents alike in engaged in 18 different interactive, educational activities.
The fair was held for Early Childhood all the way through second grade, and featured a variety of activities, each centered around at least one of the four tenets of STEM. Activities included: growing parsley, coding a computer program, creating and learning about simple machines, 3D coloring, a homemade planetarium, and many more.
“The STEM Fair is a fun way to engage our students and families in the process of learning,” said Halle Dubin, Director of the Lower School at Mandel JDS. “Long-term research indicates that being allowed opportunities to take initiative in your own learning is not only good for STEM learning, but for overall longer-term academic success.”
Students and parents were asked to come in on Sunday and partake in various activities around the building. To account for the varying ages of participants, each activity was denoted as either “everyone,” “young,” or “old” - although it’s important the note, the “old” category (2nd grade) did stop to have a cheerio and juice box break during the excitement.
“For young learners, science is just an extension of their everyday world,” explained Leah Spector, Mandel JDS Principal. “We don’t have to teach young children how to wonder, discover, and explore through play because they do it naturally. We see this STEM Fair as a perfect way to demonstrate that philosophy.”
The STEM Fair is just one of many new, technology based initiatives taking place at the school. Recently, through a Toshiba Sustainable School Grant, the school received a brand new Toshiba “Green Printer.” The printer/copier incorporates unique erasable ink. It applies heat to each page causing the print to disappear. The paper can then be reused on average up to five times. This innovative technology will greatly reduce the waste of the school as a whole. Also, through the generosity of friends of the school, Mandel JDS received a 3D Printer. Many students have been trained, using a variety of coding software, to produce 3D models of various shapes and sizes.