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 email the STEM Committee.
In the past our activities have included:
- Creating hands-on science “kits” and procuring science manipulatives for kindergarten – grade 8 students
- Running fun, in-class math activities for kindergarten students
- Running the MATH Amazing Race for grade 1 to grade 3 students
- 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 the Runnymede Council STEM Committee (Science, Technology,Engineering & Math), together with school Teachers and Administration. June is all about STEM, with exciting activities for students in all grades.
Kindergarten Classes: Angry Birds Math
- Angry Birds Math will be run in kindergarten classrooms to help students apply their well-honed math skills to a “real-life” situation.
- Students spend a half-day measuring building zones and building materials, constructing a fortress and then knocking it down with Angry Birds before sorting their loot and graphing their scores.
- If you are interested in volunteering in your child’s class for this activity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grades 1 – 3: Amazing Math Race
- Students will venture to Western Tech for the 5thAnnual Runnymede Amazing Math Race!
- Students from both the French and English streams will join their grade for a half-day of fun math challenges that encourage students to use their problem-solving and team-work skills.
- In teams, students will rotate through 6 different math challenges specifically designed for their grade. The challenges are physical and fun – and appeal to all types of students, not just those who excel at classroom math.
- We start with Math and end with freezies … Good times!
- Runnymede Teachers will be hosting half day, University of Toronto In-School STEM Workshops.
- The workshops focus on bringing the excitement of STEM into the classroom, with an active engagement, discovery based approach to learning.
- Workshops are directly linked to the Ontario Curriculum and include such topics as:
– Crazy Cranes: Structures and Mechanisms (Mechanical Engineering)
– Indy 500: Structures and Mechanisms (Aerospace Engineering)
– Alarm Systems: Understanding Matter and Energy (Electrical Engineering)
– Rocket Science: Understanding Earth and Space Systems (Aerospace Engineering)
Runnymede Represents at the First Lego League Tournament
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. 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.
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.
During 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 call backs 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.
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.
Runnymede Robotics would like to say thank you to the teachers who made their competitive team possible this year: M. Dimitroff and 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.
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.