A goal for Bennettsville Intermediate School is to become STEM certified by Fall 2022. One thing we do bi-weekly is host STEM activities in our classrooms.  Each of our teachers provide students the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities that replicate real world situations or dilemmas and become problem solvers.

Our most recent STEM activity was for students to develop a rocket that will fly without being touched.  Materials used were paper, tape, and a straw.  Our real-world focus was on NASA and how they use a special launch pad.  Teachers discuss how scientist must find the right amount of fuel to move the rocket.  They need enough to push the weight of the rocket into space.  The heavier it is, the more fuel it needs.  They also design rockets to be long and thin, so they fly better and faster. Our target focus was:

S:  Rockets must have a lot of force to escape Earth’s gravity.  Can you make it stronger?

T:  NASA has a special launch pad to hold the rocket during liftoff.  Can you make a tool to hold your rocket during liftoff?

E:  Change your design so the rocket can travel further.  Can you make it easier to steer or aim?

M:  Record how far your rocket flies each time.  Does the angle you point the straw affect how far it goes? (Graph your data)

With the rise of the technical and digital age, kids need to have a basic appreciation and knowledge of STEM. Otherwise, they could get left behind by their peers as they move into occupations. A vast majority of current and future jobs are related to STEM subjects. So, kids who study STEM core subjects in school can help minimize workforce skill gaps and keep our tech-savvy world moving forward.