STREAM in Action


STREAM in Action…
The project began in Technology, with Mrs. Smith. The task? Create a 3D Maze in Makers Empire and turn it into a 2D maze that students can program a SPRK Ball to follow. It was quite a task that required creativity, spatial skills, math skills, and teamwork. Before any academic challenges were given, students learned how to use Makers Empire, which is a program that allows students to create a 3D object that can be printed on a 3D printer. It’s very similar to the video game Minecraft in that the basic units for constructions are blocks, so some students very easily learned how to use the Makers Empire program. They also learned how to use SPRK Balls with a program called Lightning Lab. SPRK Balls are spheres that can be programmed to do a variety of actions through coding on Lightning Lab, which is on a Samsung Tablet. Once students learned the pre-requisite skills for using Makers Empire and SPRK Balls, Mrs. Daniel taught students the math skills for translating a 3D maze onto a 2D sheet of graph paper, as well as how to scale that maze up to a life-size version so that they could draw a 3 feet by 3 feet maze that the SPRK Ball would travel on. Even though students only have Technology once a week, they were able to work on their math, technology, and engineering skills in Science Class with Mrs. Daniel on select days the last few weeks. Mrs. Smith will 3D print some of the students’ mazes from Makers Empire. Though students found some components of the project to be challenging, there definitely was sense of accomplishment by the time students drew out their life-size mazes and saw all of the math and hard work come together to something more tangible. On Tuesday, April 11, students will be testing their SPRK Ball Mazes to see how accurate all of their calculations were.  Take a look at the photos.

St. Ann Students have an alternative field trip with NASA

In conjunction with the STREAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Program, students in grades 4 – 8 had the exciting opportunity to Skype with Astronaut Sunita Williams.


Sunita L. Williams (Suni) was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1998 and is a veteran of two space missions Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33. She is currently assigned to the cadre of astronauts training to fly the initial test flights for America’s first commercially built spacecraft the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon. She and her crewmates are working closely with the commercial providers to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will eventually provide round-trip crew transportation services to the International Space Station beginning in 2017.