The FWSU Story: Fletcher STEAM Night Focuses on Sustainable Development

Fletcher Elementary held its annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Night last night. Each classroom focused on a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. Below is a description of each group’s work, along with the specific goal of focus. In addition to the many great displays, students participated in hands-on instrument-making and received free STEAM-related books to take home.

Preschool:

Our preschoolers were proud to showcase their learning related to Sustainable Development Goal #12, Responsible Consumption and Production. They have learned ways to take care of the earth by focusing on the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Through stories, songs and projects such as making earth-friendly citrus cleaner and reusable fabric snack bags, preschoolers have learned that each person can make a difference and that our actions can help protect our planet.

Kindergarten:

Life on Land is very important to our kindergarteners, who have been learning about Sustainable Development Goal #15, by the same name. Kindergarteners have worked in small groups to research and learn about four Vermont animals: moose, coyote, muskrat and black bear. Students used the Engineering Design Process to create a habitat for their animals and then again to design a sled that their animal could push or pull through an obstacle in the habitat so that they could get food.

First and Second Grade (Ms. Pellegrino):

Ms. Pellegrino’s first and second graders are well aware of the dangers our earth’s bodies of water are facing. By studying ocean pollution, overfishing and strategies for protecting marine wildlife, they are experts in Sustainable Development Goal #14, Life Under Water. Small groups will display their research and accompanying artwork about each topic.

First and Second Grade (Ms. Michalski):

Ms. Michalski’s students have turned trash into treasure by taking recyclable items and repurposing them into new useful items. Focusing on Sustainable Development Goal #13, Climate Action, students will be able to talk about their newly created items and their purpose, all while keeping trash out of the landfill and protecting our climate!

Art Classes:

Be certain to check out the many art displays in the main lobby and the corridor leading to the Studio. Some of the work represents the power of positive thinking and having a growth mindset. Other work is inspired by artists like Gustav Klimt (literacy and math connections through patterning) and Keith Haring (learning how art makes us happy.)

Good Health and Well-Being

Third Grade (in the gym):

There are budding geneticists in third grade! By studying inheritance variability and traits, third graders learned how some traits are passed down from their parents while other traits are influenced by the environment. Many students even tested their blood type and, using a small test strip on the tongue, investigated whether or not they have the gene receptor to taste bitterness. Students discussed how knowing certain information can support Sustainable Development Goal #3, Good Health and Well-Being.

UN SDG Global Goal 6: Clean Water

Fourth and Fifth Grade:

Students in 4th and 5th grade created posters for Vermont’s Drinking Water Week poster contest. The theme of this year’s contest is, Water Works for Vermont!  Students were tasked with creating a poster which depicts this theme and the importance of water to life in Vermont.  In Literacy Workshop, students explored Sustainable Development Goal #6, Clean Water and Sanitation, through research and writing.  After reading and viewing various resources about the importance of access to clean and safe drinking water, students wrote an opinion paragraph addressing the question: Should access to safe and clean drinking water be a basic human right?

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grades:

Students in grades four, five and six have spent the last several weeks designing, testing and building bridges to compete with over seventy other teams from around the state at Vermont Technical College on April 4th. Teams were challenged to consider aesthetic and efficiency in addition to building a bridge that would hold the largest load possible, previewing future design work in civil engineering which aims towards the global goals of innovation, industry and infrastructure. Sustainable Development Goal #9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure has been key to this learning.

Library Classes:In the library, students have heard the story, Before We Eat: From Farm to Table, by Pat Brisson. Students made connections and discussed how to grow their own food. Then students were asked,  how can you be a responsible consumer and producer? We brainstormed lots of ideas ranging from what we buy when we go to the store, and the packaging, to how to grow and share food with others. In addition, Sustainable Development Goal #12, Responsible Consumption and Production, will be on display in the gym. One of the displays will be the recycling of the Crayola Markers.

Christopher Dodge is the Principal of Fletcher Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @FletcherFalcon

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