To celebrate Scratch Day, MantisOpenSTEM mentors used STEM stations to give students hands-on experience with the Mantis STEM product line and provide experience with real world activities. STEM stands for (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math).
MantisOpenSTEM.com decided that it was not enough to just launch their STEM Advantage Program last April in response to the White House STEM for All Initiative. As the STEM Advantage program rolls out and collaborations with participating schools begins, educators are recognizing and expressing the importance of providing their students with Mantis STEM Sensors and Probes. In the past, partnerships with companies and institutions such as Microsoft, Florida State University, Websmith Group, and more, allowed MantisOpenSTEM.com to facilitate interactions with students and their Mantis Sensors and STEM curriculum. MantisOpenSTEM.com has been strategizing to develop a model that will deliver STEM Immersion workshops in the hopes of building sustainable community relationships and reaching kids that might not otherwise be exposed to an engaging and real-world STEM experience.
Scratch Day was the perfect event to try out their new STEM workshop model which involves creating multiple STEM stations. Last month, Principal Diamond Jack, along with STEM Teachers at Venetian Hills Elementary, welcomed MantisOpenSTEM to conduct their very first Scratch Day event. The event was among 659 Scratch Day events held this year across 74 countries. The Mantis team worked diligently to create an atmosphere that introduces students to STEM professions through experiments, coding, and digital problem solving. To prove how easily compatible Mantis devices are with other platforms, one of the Mantis team members developed Scratch games to coincide with various lessons. The workshop exercises use Scratch because it works perfectly with Mantis open platform devices. Mantis team member Kariless Chandler created the game because she knew that it would be “interactive and fun for students”.
On a mission to provide examples of how MantisOpenSTEM can reach schools in communities who may lack these resources, the Mantis STEM Immersion Workshop showcases a full line of sensors and probes designed for classroom integration. Groups of fourth and fifth graders experienced a live Scratch coding session using the first generation climate sensors. Students used everyday objects to cover the sensor and measure the incoming light. The intensity of the light made the Scratch shape grow and shrink. Then students shifted gears, ready to race they used light to determine the speed of the car. Using the directional pad, in addition to adjusting the light intensity, students’ cars made laps and avoided the coded rock obstacles.
Also, there to film the day’s events, was TriPoint Media’s, Kesha Fairman, and her student film and production team. Whenever possible, MantisOpenSTEM and TriPoint team up at these events to make it an all-encompassing experience for students. On hand at the event were sophomore and junior students from North Atlanta High School to film the Scratch Day activities, allowing MantisOpenSTEM to share on social media and also to review reactions to the various stations, gathering invaluable feedback to strengthen their workshops.
The day was concluded with a review to assess what students learned. A fourth grade student introduced himself while participating in the review segment and said: “my favorite thing to do in STEM is to program robots.” He was clearly inspired by watching the 3D printer along with the Mantis Rover in action. One student exclaimed that “I learned that you can use technology to build anything!”
Mantis is planning their STEM Immersion Workshop strategy with hopes to make this a free program with community sponsorships. If interested in learning more about Mantis STEM workshops, follow @MantisSTEM on Twitter or likeMantisSTEM on facebook.