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March 21, 2018
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Stillwater News

Sarah Vaughn
Fourth-grade student, Sarah Vaughn, attends an after-school STEM Enrichment Academy called, "Bag of Bones," at Stillwater Elementary School.

STEM Academy mixes fun with learning

Series of enrichment workshops help engage students

Oct. 25, 2012 – It’s not every day that an elementary-age student gets to put an entire bag of bones together to make a complete skeleton, or look at something as small as a collar bone to determine its relative age.

But, that’s exactly what fourth-grade student, Sarah Vaughn, along with a number of her peers did during the latest after-school STEM Academy course, which focused on forensic science, on Oct. 17.

The STEM Academy is an enrichment program that focuses on engaging and preparing students at a young age for possible careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics throughout a series of courses held throughout the school year at the elementary school. This is the second year of the program’s existence at Stillwater, held in conjunction with Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES (WSWHE) BOCES.

Joseph Biss talks to studentsDuring the recent workshop, Vaughn worked with a team of students to sort the different skeleton bones and strategically put them back together. Then, they learned about the different characteristics forensic scientists use every day to figure out a skeleton’s age, weight, height, gender and race.

“I would like to study animals and be a veterinarian,” said Vaughn. “I think this class will help me because I will learn more about animals and bones.” Vaughn recalled being very intrigued with albino animals because of their pink eyes at the very first STEM Academy called, “Live Exotic Animals.” She also learned that 98 percent of snakes are harmless.

In addition to forensics and exotic animals, students have the opportunity to study science topics, such as marine biology, physics and the chemistry of cooking with traveling scientist Joseph Biss (pictured above). They can also learn about endangered species, survival adaptations of animals and environmental responsibility through the Wilton Wildlife Preserve.

Students look at bonesIf your child is interested in learning more about the next STEM Academy series, please contact Assistant Principal and STEM Academy Coordinator John Powell at 373-6100, ext. 30040.







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