Exciting STEAM-based Projects At Two CHARISM STEM Clubs

N.D. Council on the Arts grant enables NEW art/photography unit

Photographer Robb Siverson works with CHARISM students from Eastwood STEM Club.
Photographer Robb Siverson works with CHARISM students from Eastwood STEM Club.

This spring, the Eastwood STEM Club (West Fargo, N.D.) received funding from the North Dakota Council on the Arts grant to provide a group of 20 female students with an art/photography unit. Throughout the month of February local photographer expert, Robb Siverson, will provide daily lessons to students on the history of photography and silent era films while also teaching the basic photography principles, such as lighting, “rule of thirds,” spacing and more.

Each child will use an iPad to take the black-and-white, digital photos and critique/analyze them for the specific principles learned throughout their lessons. Each student’s best photo will be mounted with their very own artistic statement. The 20 completed photo pieces will be displayed as a traveling exhibit in the Fargo community, specifically at Eastwood Elementary School, the Plains Art Museum and the Rourke Art Museum.

“So far, it’s been a positive experience and the kids absolutely love using photos to express themselves!” shares Shannon Blomker, CHARISM STEM Program Director.

“Making Neighborhoods Better”

McCormick’s STEM Club has taken on a STEAM-based project around “Making Neighborhoods Better.” Students and mentors took time to initially discuss what makes a “strong neighborhood.” Conversation included the importance of trustworthy people/adults in their neighborhood, as well as positive businesses and organizations—for example, schools, police stations, grocery stores, Community Homes and more. Students were then given the chance to physically build a neighborhood.  Using a variety of materials and supplies students built their own homes, their school and even CHARISM’s youth center!

CHARISM student creates a Cane Toad Trap for the Engineering is Elementary invasive species project.
CHARISM student creates a Cane Toad Trap for the Engineering is Elementary invasive species project.

McCormick STEM Club also utilizes Engineering is Elementary kits to promote project-based learning within the after-school environment.

 

“Our most recent project was on invasive species. Each group of students had the opportunity to use the engineering design process to build and redesign innovative traps to catch the cane toad, a real-life invasive species found in Australia!” explained Blomker.

 

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