In the gymnasium, surrounded by shoulder-to-shoulder classmates, family and friends, several groups of Fletcher Elementary School students huddled around small piles of colorful straws and planned. Whispering softly, many with their hands cupped around their mouths so as not to allow their thinking to be overheard by their competitors, the groups skillfully deployed several strategies in an effort to create the tallest tower to hold a small white flag using only straws and tape.
The “instant challenge,” as it was called, was a key feature of the Fletcher School’s S.T.E.A.M. Night (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) held on May 25th. Historically called S.T.E.M. Night, this year the school included an art show, transforming S.T.E.M. into S.T.E.A.M, with the added “A” representing the arts.
The evening event emphasized the three learning proficiencies that the Fletcher School has been focusing on this year, including clear and effective communication, creative and practical problem-solving and Responsible and involved citizenship.
“S.T.E.A.M. Nights celebrates the hard work of our students to become proficient in these essential skill areas,” S.T.E.M. Teacher Leader Denette Locke said. “It is a great example of how academic concentrations are interwoven at Fletcher. The evening is all about students presenting evidence that they are becoming more and more competent, especially with the three proficiencies.”
Individual classes orchestrated displays on topics ranging from watersheds and sound, to the lifecycle of plants.

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