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STEM students learn through early forms of technology

Teachers at Carolina Day School take a different approach to STEM by having students learn from the origins of modern technology.  (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

When you think about STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) in schools, your first thought might be computers.

But teachers at Carolina Day School take a different approach to STEM by having students learn from the origins of modern technology.

Ian Ridell taught STEM to second-graders by taking their learning back in time to the most early technologies, like woodworking. He said by using simple hands-on projects, the kids get an idea of concept and design.

At this age, the school tries to minimize the amount of screen time kids have. So, by measuring, cutting and drilling, they can see math in action.

"One of the best applications for fractions is building measurements, rulers, drill bits. They're all done in fractions," Ridell explained.

One of the goals is to help them visualize precision and measurement.

"Drawing a straight line straight, measuring it to 6 inches, and they can see how well that fits together or does not fit together, depending on how precise they work," Ridell said.

By the end of the year, the students will design and build their own version of a miniature covered wagon as part of a social studies project.

Carolina Day School got a David Clune Partnership in Learning Grant this year.

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