Cool Schools: Mishawaka elementary schools use new STEM materials
MISHAWAKA, Ind. –
A first-of-its-kind STEM Acceleration Grant is now putting brand new technology in the hands of every elementary student in the School City of Mishawaka. The district is one of 11 in the state of Indiana to be awarded the grant from the Indiana Department of Education.
The district was awarded the grant in the spring, but now the materials are starting to flood the elementary school buildings and classrooms.
“It’s been a constant flow of new materials for our students to use here,” said Courtney Koszyk, the principal at Beiger Elementary. “I feel like things keep coming every single day and it keeps growing and growing and I’m very excited for our students.”
Students in Sarah Hoover’s second-grade class at Beiger are excited to see the new equipment as well. Hoover holds what she calls “Genius Hour” in her classroom at least once a week. During that time she utilizes the new equipment to give her students a new way to learn.
“Having those extra materials has been nice,” said Hoover.
Materials include 3D pens, robots for coding and building and engineering games. There are different tools for different grade levels in the district.
“Sarah started this with writing the grant, and so Sarah is leading the charge in our building by teaching her fellow teachers.,” said Koszyk. “She’s started workshops on Saturdays for teachers to come in and learn about the STEM program and the STEM materials that they have available to use in their classrooms now.”
Using those materials is something Hoover has a passion for because she says it will better equip students for the workforce.
“Whether these kids are going to go to college or just go out into the workforce, this is something that we need,” she said. We need that science, we need the technology, we need the engineering, and we need the math for our future. And I think it will get them ready for their future in Indiana.