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Launching Into Space Exploration In Lower School STEM

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In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, our Lower School STEM classes engaged in a special project celebrating the groundbreaking achievements of Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina astronaut in space. Students learned about Dr. Ochoa’s significant contribution to the development and control of a robotic arm that helped astronauts to walk in space. Then, they got to work on their own project, building a robotic hand. The lesson provided a deeper understanding of the intricate mechanisms involved in space exploration and the vital role that technology plays in advancing scientific endeavors. 

Beyond the science and technology, Lower School STEM Coordinator, Ellen Peek, led meaningful discussions about the creative gifts and abilities that God has given each one of us to use for His glory. She also shared how God has marked out specific times for us to live in, and how we each have a purpose to fulfill in our lifetimes.

 Acts 17: 26 "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands."

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Diving Into Nature's Classroom & Exploring Ecosystems

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The world of ecosystems came to life for our inquisitive third grade students last week! The students welcomed Mrs. Liberty Cosseti from High Touch High Tech, who led the classes through The Chain Gang, a program where students explore the food web and discover how animals adapt to their environment. There was plenty of excitement as these young students became Wildlife Ecologists for the day! 

"High Touch High Tech science field trips provide exciting opportunities for students to explore God's creation and inspire curiosity to want to know more,” says third grade teacher Christina Brazzel. “The hands-on experiments and activities meet the South Carolina Curriculum Standards and complements our BJU science curriculum. I am most excited and thankful for High Touch, High Tech experiences because it sparks interest in science and fosters curiosity through fun hands-on learning, which helps students to remember concepts and produces a desire to learn more."

 After an in-depth discussion of biotic and abiotic factors, students created their own ecosystems with gummies and pretzels before breaking off into centers that allowed them to dive deeper into the scientific world. Students explored three different stations; making their own ecosystem in a ziplock baggie, dissecting owl pellets to find the bones of the owl’s prey, and finally looking through a microscope at various slides.

Here's what a few of Mrs. Brazzel’s students had to say about this unique experience:

"I liked making a food chain out of food because I used my imagination. I learned about abiotic and biotic." - Chase Beville

"My favorite part was making a terrarium, which contains biotic and abiotic." - Micah Romfo

"I loved making habitats out of food and then eating it!!! I also loved making a terrarium and digging in owl pellets!" - Nora Brown

"I enjoyed making food chains and biomes for animals. I loved learning about producers and consumers in food chains." - Levi Hill

"My favorite part was discovering mole bones in the owl pellets, making a terrarium, making habitats and looking in a microscope." - Athan Dimitrious

"I loved the owl pellets. I liked the habitat we did and when we planted a plant." - Piper Johannesmeyer

"I liked planting grass and sorting owl pellets." - Isaac Earle

With all the excitement and "wows" throughout the day, these students were enthusiastic learners and clearly fascinated by ecosystems!

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