With nearly 200 participants in attendance, the recent Smith Elementary School Family Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Night was a success for teachers and students alike. This annual event, previously Math and Science Night, was expanded to provide families with an opportunity to learn about STEM concepts while completing fun family-focused activities. 

“STEM night is a great event that helps motivate and challenge students that are interested in STEM learning. It’s a time for students and parents to explore an interest that is typically expressed in the classroom environment,” said Amber Ames, fifth-grade science teacher and 2020 Smith Teacher of the Year. “We all spend a lot of time in class learning and practicing science and math concepts so it’s really rewarding to see our students apply that hard work with their parents and teachers at the different stations.”

With academic-focused family nights like STEM Night, the school focuses on providing students with opportunities to showcase their academic efforts outside the classroom. Students are able to showcase their skills in many ways but some of the most memorable STEM Night activities were the following:

  • Order up – providing an opportunity to tallying food orders, including taxes, at restaurants
  • Repurposing Recyclables – participants made a toy or gadget using recyclables
  • Egg drop challenge – devices were created in an effort to keep an egg intact when dropped from a specified height
  • Stars and Galaxies – viewed and identify images of stars and constellations through a teacher-made “dark box”
  • Building Structures Challenge – participants built structures using cups, popsicle sticks, bowls and other small items

Student digging for fossils in mud balls Students coding with Bee Bots
Students building structures