Hands-on Learning

GWU School of Education Hosts S.T.E.A.M. Day for Local Third-Graders

Hands-on Learning

Over 100 third-graders from Boiling Springs Elementary visited Gardner-Webb University recently for a day of fun and learning. Guided by undergraduate students in the School of Education, the children completed several challenges for “Hands-on Halloween.”

Using sponges, cotton, string and pieces of plastic, they made parachutes to protect eggs dropped from the porch at Frank Nanney Hall. They also learned how to determine the perimeter of several items around campus, and they built a house for the “Three Little Pigs” that couldn’t be blown away. Finally, they listened and created illustrations for a story.

The day of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) activities benefits everyone, asserted Dr. Lori Nanney, GWU associate professor of education. “This is a day for the elementary teachers to rest and recharge,” she explained. “It’s a blessing to be able to do this for them. It’s also a blessing to see our students emerging into the beautiful butterfly teachers they are. We are excited to see them using the things they have learned in class.”

When describing the day for their students, the Boiling Springs teachers tell them it’s the best field trip they will have in the third grade. “It is so much fun,” said teacher Cathy Miller. “They talk about it for days and days. They don’t realize that they are learning; they are just having fun.”

Group leaders were GWU students who will begin their student-teaching semester soon. Assisting them were education students from all subject areas. Madeline Bame, a sophomore music education major, enjoyed helping the children. “This is our first opportunity to be the teacher ourselves,” she shared. “It is so rewarding.”

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