A special presentation by teacher Melissa Jacobs enlightened Skyline Board of Education members about how new technology with STEM projects are helping students learn new things.
Challenging students problem solving abilities is helping get students ready for jobs that don’t even exist yet.
Melissa Jacobs, Skyline K-12 target and science, technology, engineering and mathematics teacher, presented STEM projects to the Skyline Board of Education at their regular monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 11.
Each board member and the administrators were shown an example of an electronic kit STEM students use to challenge their creative skills. Jacobs shared the engineering design process students use to create an item to solve a problem.
The engineering design process is divided into seven parts: ask-define the problem; imagine-generate ideas; plan-select a solution; create-make the item; test-evaluate the item; improve-make needed changes; share-present the results.
Jacobs said there is a lot of testing and improving then testing again to find what works and what doesn’t work.
Students will have items that don’t work but that is part of the learning process. Students learn that it is okay to fail because much can still be learned.
“There are no bad ideas,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs presented several short videos of students with their projects. One project students selected was creating music using fruit as a source of electricity. In the video, one student was able to play a song by touching the fruit that was connected to a computer with sensors and probes.
Students share information with each other about their projects to help each other learn what worked and what didn’t.
One kit was Bee Bots where preschoolers learned basic programming to make the Bee Bots move.
Jacobs said these projects have helped improve student confidence. One sixth grader that didn’t usually get involved, found a project he liked and was anxious to enter the innovations fair, Jacobs said.
Skyline continues to work on their Kansas Education Systems Accreditation schedules for students. The school has been successful with the program to a point that other districts have taken notice and some will be visiting Skyline to observe their techniques, said Skyline Superintendent Becca Flowers.
The district will continue to educate the Board and parents on their KESA progress, how it works and how students are responding.
Elementary Principal Diane House said the older grade schoolers were very helpful at the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten open house Feb. 11. They lead tours and took pictures of the event. People commented on how well behaved the fourth graders were, House said.
The board approved $30,500 in funding for demolition, a new concrete pad and new bleachers for the visitors side of the football field. Several companies will be hired for the project. Bids are also going out for repairs and replacement of worn areas of bleachers on the hometown side of the foot ball field.
Bids for roof repair will be opened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The district is also considering new playground equipment but no action has been taken on that matter, said Clerk of the Board, Michelle Domsch.
High School Principal Herb McPherson reminded the board that the play “Freaky Friday” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 16 at the school.
The board approved two year contracts for Superintendent Becca Flowers, McPherson for high school and middle school principal, House for pre-k through sixth grade principal and assistant middle school and assistant high school principal.
They also approved a payment to Linda Bishop for assistant musical director of the high school musical.