2020-2021 School Year, Project Based Learning, Science

STEM at St. Thomas with LEGO WeDo 2.0

November 17, 2020, Author: Sean McConathy

Last year, St. Thomas alum students (now in junior high) swept the science fair scene, winning not only their school competitions, but then placing at regional, advancing to state and placing there too! How is it that we achieve results like this with our students you ask? Because of our way of teaching science involves harnessing student’s natural curiosity through hands on learning and interdisciplinary projects rather than a memorization of facts and charts. We’re continuing that tradition with an exciting new addition to our curriculum: LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits.

Thanks to a STEM grant from Jacobs JET CCP, St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal school purchased a set of LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits for grades 1-5.  This award-winning system is used in conjunction with our school’s classroom Chromebooks, enabling student to learn block-coding to program their robotic creations.

WeDo 2.0 lessons are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards our school adopted 2 years ago, and are a fabulous augment to project based learning.

Teachers first trained on how to use the new kits, and brushed up on their own block-coding skills.

Our 5th graders spearheaded the field-testing for classes as they built rovers and other contraptions. Second graders were next as they built model pollinators that could be programmed to hover around a model flower. After conducting observations and study in our Pollinator Garden students built and analyzed their model, one of the core practices in NGSS.