ROBINSON_STEM

Landon Hammond, 5, left, works on a STEM project with his mother Katie Kwiatkowski, right, during STEM night Thursday at W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock. The pair were given a task to make a safe way for a marble to travel using pipe insulation and masking tape.

WOODSTOCK - W.W. Robinson Elementary school hosted STEM night on Thursday evening to allow parents to see what their children are doing in class.

Parents and their children rotated among seven stations, one of which was the Roller Coaster STEM Challenge.

Katie Kwiatkowski was on a classroom floor with her 5-year-old son Landon Hammond, sitting with a marble in hand among pipe insulation and masking tape.

“Mom, I need some tape,” Landon said.

Landon strategically used the tape to put two pieces of insulation together that his mom was holding. He bent the insulation to run against the wall.

Their mission was to plan a roller coaster track that was fun while being safe for the rider.

Kwiatkowski teaches art at Sherando High School in Frederick County.

“I am glad they are using and teaching STEM early on. It teaches creative problem solving and thinking,” she said.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

STEM teacher Cheryl Morgan said these classes have long been taught in schools, but STEM incorporates them all together to teach students to solve real-world problems.

“Math in a book is not what it looks like in the real world,” Morgan said. “Kids need to be able to apply what they learn.”

Teaching STEM early on to kids allows them to see that failure and struggle are not negatives but simply part of the process of finding a solution, she said.

Some of the other stations included the Wind Powered Car STEM Challenge and the Spin-O-Copter STEM Challenge.

Contact Melissa Topey at mtopey@nvdaily.com