Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Learning Committee

About the STEM committee: The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Learning Committee is a group of parents interested in helping to enrich Runnymede through hands-on science, mathematics and technology opportunities that focus on the reinforcement of the mathematics and science curricula.

If you would like to join or help, please contact the STEM committee chairs Tasha Balla-Boudreau and Tracy MacIntyre:  runnymedestemcommittee@gmail.com.


In the past our activities have included:

  • Facilitating STEM enrichment activities in the school, including:
    • Fun, in-class math activities for kindergarten students
    • The Amazing MATH Race for students in grades 1-4
    • Classroom enrichment programs such as University of Toronto Engineering Outreach for students in grades 5-8
  • Creating hands-on science “kits” and procuring science manipulatives for students in kindergarten – grade 8
  • Sourcing math manipulatives for all grade levels, to make math more hands-on and fun
  • Dispatching a team of parents to assist in the installation of school technology and to make sure all computer systems are up and running for immediate, in-class use
  • Sourcing additional funding and instructional support for in-school technology as well as STEM subjects

STEM Activities During the Month of June

June is a busy month for Runnymede students, with hands-on STEM learning going on inside and outside the classroom.  Here’s what you can expect for your child:

Junior and senior students will be participating in a variety of STEM Enrichment programming at Runnymede, including Future Goals: Hockey Scholar STEM Learning sessions and University of Toronto Engineering Outreach programs.

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amazing-math-race-logo-2-2015Primary students (grades 1 – 4) will be participating in the Amazing Math Race.  This is a half-day, off-site, fun math event where students run around and use their math and team-work skills.

Dates:   Each grade will have a specific day in the last half of June (likely between June  13th and June 26th, 2018).

Time: 12:00 – 3:15 pm

Grade Leads Needed! We’re looking for parents who can do a bit of preliminary organization and help lead the Amazing Math Race for their child’s grade.  If you’re interested in being a Grade Lead or if you simply want to volunteer for a half-day of fun math activities with your child on the day of the event, please get in touch at runnymedeSTEMcommittee@gmail.com.  No math expertise required!

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Kindergarten students will be participating in the Angry Birds Math activity where they get to stand up and measure, build, sort, graph and LAUNCH Angry Birds!  MAth bird

Dates and times are TBC, but each class will participate in a half-day activity (9:00 – 11:30 am or 12:30 – 3:00 pm).  The Angry Birds Math activity usually runs in late May / early June once students have covered most of the math curriculum.  

Interested in volunteering in your child’s class for this activity? Please email tracy.macintyre@gmail.com.


Runnymede Represents at the FIRST LEGO League TournamentFLL Logo

Runnymede will again be fielding two exceptional teams at the upcoming FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Tournament at Runnymede Collegiate Institute on December 9th.  Everyone is welcome to come out and cheer on our teams.  Our veteran Cyberbolts team have been actively mentoring the Electric Lions as both teams prepare for an exciting tournament centering on this years theme of Hydro Dynamics.

Looking back to last year

The 2016-17 Runnymede Robotics teams, the Cyberbolts and the Positive Vibes, had an exciting competition at the TDSB’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Tournament in December 2017. The theme for 2016/17 was “Animal Allies”, which meant the students studied challenges facing animals in our community as well as designing & programming a robot to execute animal-related missions.

Robot launch

Competing against 28 other TDSB school teams, they were judged on their robot’s design, on their team’s core values (Coopertition® and Gracious Professionalism®) and their researched project of solutions for their chosen animal-related problems.

The Cyberbolts had taken on the challenge of Coywolves in urban spaces, while the Positive Vibes team investigated declining Bee populations.

 

PositiveVibes1During the exciting mission part of the competition, the teams were given 2 1/2 minutes to run their robot through missions alongside other TDSB teams. This is the nerve-wracking part of the competition where missions that worked in the lab can go completely haywire – and  missions that often failed work perfectly.

The Cyberbolts got callbacks for all 3 of their presentations, winning the “Best Programming” award and the Positive Vibes got call backs for 2, winning the “Most Inspirational Team” award!

In the end the Cyberbolts placed 2nd overall and will be representing Runnymede at the provincial competition in January.

CYBERBOLTSPHOTO

Judges remarked how incredibly well the team worked together, with the older students running the team without coaches needing to help.

This is the goal of FLL, where coaches become mentors and the students work to find solutions. Visit FLL League for more information about this worldwide phenomenon.

wtcs-crestRunnymede Robotics would like to say thank you to the teachers who have made their competitive teams possible this year:  Ms. Moldawa from Runnymede and Mr. Wang, the robotics mentor from Western Technical-Commercial School. Thanks also to WTCS‘s Principal Pang for her gracious support. We are lucky to have WTCS as our neighbour.


Visit the team’s website to find out about our projects and for helpful hints on LEGO building, programming and crazy STEM fun!


Interested in learning programming at home? Check out the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s site SCRATCH. This site encourages kids to program using blocks of code that they connect to make scripts. They can “see inside” the programs of posted games and learn from others, or follow the tutorials provided.


Join us!

Any parent interested in helping promote the Math and Science curricula at Runnymede is welcome to join the STEM committee – we’d love to have you! No specific skills are required. Please contact us to learn more or to join.

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