Ms. S teaches at Frances Slocum Elementary School in Marion, IN, where 96% of students receive free / reduced lunch.

"I want to provide more opportunities for my students to investigate through implementing STEM projects. STEM activities provide engaging and memorable experiences for my students. The magnet materials I have included are beneficial as they will find it interesting to read about and then they will have the opportunity to explore. We have completed one STEM project this year so far.

Their excitement as they worked together, investigated and created made me realize how beneficial these activities are."
We gave seed fund to kick start her campaign, and immediately we heard the great news from her:
"Dear VPL,
We are now fully funded! I cannot contain my excitement. Thank you so much for your support, believing in my classroom and providing materials for STEM in our room. My students will be excited to get to investigate and create on a consistent basis. They are always so surprised when I randomly bring something new in our classroom and I can't wait to see their faces when our STEM station is up and running.
With gratitude,
Ms. S."
Ms. S sent us updates and photos. 

Dear VPL,

I wish you could have heard the excitement when we opened up all of our new science goodies! These kiddos were thrilled and couldn't wait to get started. I have implemented STEM Friday afternoons and our projects usually connect with our theme of the week. We've built a stronger house for the three pigs that wouldn't get blown down by a fan, created a marble maze and used the Play-Doh along with toothpicks for the frame of our hibernation stations for animals in the winter. In our favorite project so far we calculated and compared the speed of a bottle cap "sled" going down ramps we created with the materials and then rethought our designs to make the sled go even faster.

We had a discovery day about magnets. They were so excited and as they learned about the properties of magnets and always ask if it's their turn to check out our magnet books. After reading about magnets we started a chart with "What I know, What I Want To Know" about magnets. Then the kiddos got to visit four rotations with different magnet activities. Once we finished we filled in "What We Learned" on our chart. Kiddos have the opportunity to earn extra recess time on Friday and if they do they ask if they can play with out magnets all the time! 

It is so incredible to see how their expertise and creativity has grown since we started doing these projects consistently. They are thriving when it comes to problem solving, trying new ideas and even working together to have a successful project. They have learned that they can do better with three friends working together than just one person trying their idea alone. Thanks to all of our handy dandy STEM materials these kids look forward to Friday afternoons not just because it's almost the weekend, but they get to be hands on and fix problems together. We take photos of our projects and they record their data. I'm adding pictures to a class book of our projects so when it's time to clean up they still get to look back on what they accomplished.

With gratitude,
Ms. S.