STEAM at Ford Elementary
Toward the Future"
STEM Lab at Ford Elementary School is a special place where students
are able to explore their world using a hands-on learning approach.
Every student at our school from Kindergarten through 5th grade
experiences the STEM Lab for 45 minutes each week as part of their
Lessons are approached from a comprehensive variety of learning
experiences including problem based, project based, and inquiry
based learning activities. Our students are encouraged to engage
in authentic scientific inquiry and problem solving using real world
experiences. Elements of Technology, Math, and Engineering are
integrated into lessons at every grade level.
Classroom Integration- Our
classroom teachers and STEM Lab also collaborate on longer term
projects featuring the Award Winning EIE- Engineering is Elementary
curriculum developed by the Boston Museum of Science.
Our entire staff has been trained on how to utilize this
Additionally, our classroom teachers integrate Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math into their daily schedules.
Each grade level has the flexibility to integrate these
topics in a manner that is appropriate to the learning needs of
Environmental Education via Earth Parent Program
Over the past 20+ years, we have remained committed to supporting
and enhancing our award winning Environmental Education program.
The Earth Parents facilitate six environmental based STEM lessons
yearly, and 5th grade will be working on a Social Studies enrichment
project in the Community Garden, researching WWII and planting
Victory Gardens. The Math Garden, Storybook Gardens and Pollinator
Gardens will be the Earth Parent’s focus for primary grades this
spring. Our commitment to environmental education has earned Ford
the Gold Level status for Keep Cobb Beautiful’s Green
Ford’s model environmental program has served to mentor dozens of
schools and organizations across the state and nation and continues
to serve as a model school for The Captain Planet Foundation. We
often present our award winning program at national and regional
conferences and have hosted our own Learning Garden Conference at
Ford. Our efforts in
environmental and STEM education
earned Ford Elementary the prestigious
National Green Ribbon School
Award in 2013.
- Our Lego based learning
program starts at the Kindergarten level and builds in rigor through
the fifth grade. We
utilize Lego Early Structures, Early Simple
StoryStarter, Simple Machines, WeDo Robotics, EV3 Mindstorm
Robotics for a variety of learning activities in the STEM Lab and in
the general classroom.
Programming/Coding ( New in 2014-15) On a quarterly basis,
students will be given the opportunity to learn computer programming
starting with Beebots at the Kindergarten level and build in rigor
over time to include Scratch, Tynker, Kodable, and Lego Robotics.
Integration (STEAM) The Arts offer a unique
opportunity for students to express their personal creativity while
solving unique problems. For example, how can sound be represented
visually in a two-dimensional work of art? The Arts also connect
multiple disciplines in a meaningful way.
Fourth grade students who sing a folk song from Ghana and
create rhythm patterns to accompany do not even realize that they
are using math skills (finding patterns) social studies (Ghana
culture) and language arts (meter, expression) in addition to the
various music skills they are mastering.
Through group work and various creative projects the Arts
also offer a many opportunities for students to improve their 21st
century skills: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and
Problem Solving, Communication and Collaboration, Global Awareness,
Initiative and Self-direction, Flexibility and Adaptability &
Effective Interaction with others.
Here at Ford, we offer one STEAM lesson each
semester to each grade level.
This might be in the form of an activity (Kindergarten
students using unifix cubes to represent their original melody) a
lesson (3rd grade students create an abstract collage of
various textures and layers to represent sedimentary rock
formations) or a unit (4th grade students study the
science of sound and create an original notation system to represent
bird calls). We also
look for ways to connect multiple disciplines through the arts
(combining engineering and art to create standing metal sculptures).
We encourage 21st century skills on a daily basis
through group projects, and student centered instruction.
Quarterly STEM Focus Days-(new in 2014-15) At the end of each 9
week academic quarter Ford Elementary School will have a STEM Focus
Day in which students will participate in special STEM related
activities, share STEM experiences with guests, meet with STEM
experts and learn about STEM careers.
We are currently working with experts from the Weather
Channel, Google, and Lockheed Martin.
Your Own Device
(BYOD) is an initiative that will allow students
who have personal technology devices to bring them to school to use
them for educational purposes under the direction of a teacher or
administrator. For the purposes of BYOD, “Device” means a privately
owned wireless and/or portable electronic piece of equipment that
includes laptops, netbooks, tablets/slates, iPod Touches, and smart
Opportunities for Enrichment:
STEM Night- Each fall, Ford Elementary School and the STEM
Magnet Program at Kennesaw Mountain High School collaborate to plan
and host this fun and interactive event which gives families an
opportunity to engage in Science and Engineering based hands-on
Fair/Invention Convention -Each fall, all of our students are
invited to participate in our school wide STEM Fair/Invention
Convention. Students are encouraged to follow the Cobb County-
Standards Based Learning model. These guidelines are based on true
scientific methods and procedures. Top winners in grades 3-5 are
invited to participate in the Cobb District Science Fair.
Science Olympiad is a team competition event that challenges
students in 18 different categories that include scientific
knowledge and in-depth hands-on experiences. This program is
available, by application, to students in grades 3-5 with a maximum
team size of 20 students. Students from Ford Elementary School
practice after school for one hour each week to prepare for Science
Olympiad Tournaments. Ford students compete against teams from other
schools at both the Cobb District Level and at the State Level. Held
at Kennesaw State University, Georgia has one of the largest
statewide Elementary Science Olympiad Tournaments in the United
of the Mind
is an international educational program that provides creative
problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through
college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that
range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own
interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions
to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of
teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries
participate in the program.
Technology Team is an afterschool club for students who have a
strong interest in computers and would like to learn more about
Mentors is a before school tutoring program that pairs older
students who are proficient in math with younger students who may
need additional support.
Together these students review math concepts and practice math
Math Night gives students the opportunity to practice their math
skills in a real-life application.
Students and their families solve math problems related to
the purchase of groceries at Publix Grocery Store.
Ford Elementary Foundation
Ford Elementary PTSA
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw Mountain High School STEM Magnet
Captain Planet Foundation
CATO- Cobb Parks & Recreation
Keep Cobb Beautiful
Smith Gilbert Gardens
USDA Forest Service
Clean Air Campaign
National Wildlife Federation
Environmental Protection Agency