There wasn’t a red carpet or Oscars being handed out—and there certainly wasn’t a slip up about who won Best Picture—but students and parents at Liberty STEM had a whole lot of fun with with some of their favorite movies last week.
During their 4th Annual Family STEM Night, Liberty students and their families gathered around different tables and took on challenges designed to enhance their knowledge and skills at Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The first couple of years the event held no theme, but last year’s theme was “FROZEN: Making Science Cool”—which of course, was based on the mega-popular Disney hit movie and featured exciting activities like “Building Olaf,” “Arctic Excavation,” and more.
This year, the school realized they couldn’t “let it go” and decided to build on that success to an even larger degree, creating STEM activities based on popular children’s and family movies.
The collection of movies and their implications in STEM activities was far and wide:
- Trolls – help Poppy and Branch escape the Bergens. Use index cards, straw, and tape to build a vehicle that rolls. Record how far your vehicle went.
- The Secret Life of Pets – build a shelter for your pet using pipe cleaners.
- Brave – Make a bow and arrow and help Merida win the archery contest between clans.
- Big Hero 6 – cushioning foam Play-doh.
- Chicken Run– explore sounds and vibration by making a clucking chicken sound
- Frozen– make a snowflake with snow paint.
- Finding Dory – make a marble run and help Dory find her way home.
- Ghost Busters – get slimed.
- Star Wars – chemical reaction with Oobleck.
- Planes – explore aerodynamics and create your own plane.
- Flubber – watch a chemical reaction occur with your own homemade Gak.
- Moana – help save the heart of Te Fiti and build a boat to sail the Pacific.
Jana Coatney, a teacher at Liberty STEM, says that STEM night is important as important to the parents as it is the students. “STEM Night is our opportunity to involve families and show them what their children have been learning through Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM),” she says.
Though the activities are not expensive and do not take hours to complete, the goal is similar to their everyday goals at Liberty STEM: solving problems.
“Many supplies we use in our event are things you have at home already—paper, cornstarch, foil, shaving cream, etcetera,” Coatney says. “We use STEM as an opportunity to encourage and develop problem solving skills. STEM Night is great to show parents what students are learning during the day at Liberty.”
She also says that the event is important in that it gives students the opportunity to become critical thinkers and excel through varied experiences. “STEM increases student engagement and gives all students and opportunity to shine,” she says.
Family STEM night is funded through school’s TAPS (Teachers and Parents of Sapulpa) organization. Liberty Elementary was converted to a STEM school 4 years ago and currently enrolls about 240 students.