In the weeks leading up to the end of a rather peculiar school year for Southwest Washington students, ESD 112 partnered with several local districts to deliver high quality educational materials to elementary students while they were completing their learning at home. With the support of its STEM Materials Center, ESD 112 produced and distributed approximately 20,000 STEM@Home kits for local elementary students to supplement their remote STEM learning.
Teachers and principals were thrilled to be able to offer their students new at-home learning activities that didn’t require adopting new curriculum or any additional planning for teachers, who had already been overwhelmed by many of the changes required to adapt to a remote learning model this spring.
“While our K-12 educators have done phenomenal and monumental things to provide meaningful and educational activities for our students to continue learning at home,” said ESD 112 Integrated Curriculum Specialist Pranjali Upadhyay, “the experience has been overwhelming. The idea behind the STEM@Home kits and activities was to provide relief to teachers by directly serving families in continuing STEM learning at home.”
Teachers and district leaders have been appreciative of the additional support in reaching students during a very challenging time for public schools.
“Thank you so much for all you’ve done to support meaningful STEM projects for our students,” said Washougal School District Assistant Superintendent Renae Burson. “Your work is definitely appreciated by us—but more important, so valued by the students!”
Each of the kits corresponds with an activity on the STEM@Home web page. Activities are categorized by grade level and include lessons and activities related to creating shelter for imaginary pets and starting a microgreens farm (grades K-2); and keeping the coffee hot and growing your own snacks at home (grades 3-5). Students who received the kits were excited to work on projects they could use to engage in problem solving around the house.
The STEM@Home kits were safely assembled by ESD 112 employees in their homes where they were able to practice social distancing measures. Each employee volunteer picked up supplies, including activity sheets and materials such as straws, construction paper, rubber bands, tin foil and paper clips, depending on the project, and assembled them into individual kits for students.
Kits were then delivered along bus routes and at student meal pickup locations throughout Southwest Washington with the help of ESD 112’s transportation services.
In addition to the kits, ESD 112’s STEM program also worked to develop an engaging series of Math Anywhere activity cards that have been delivered to students in school districts across the region on Wednesdays along with meal deliveries.
The cards were created in English and Spanish versions and display a range of math concepts using symbols and imagery from everyday life, helping students make math connections wherever they happen to be. Families can find even more Math Anywhere activities, including games and printables, on our website.