STEM Initiatives for the 2018-19 School Year

Since 2016, Overbrook School has purposefully integrated hands-on, teaching methods across grade levels with the introduction of STEM in the classroom. An outdoor mini farm was added in 2017 to provide students with opportunities to engage in real-life learning situations with special emphasis on inquiry-based tasks related to engineering and environmental studies. The school has established a garden, greenhouse, chicken coop and sheep barn learning area on school grounds. Students have actively engaged in a variety of lessons including tapping sugar maple trees, turning sap into maple syrup, designing hydroponic window farms, building inverted gardens, studying genetics to predict fur color of baby rabbits, designing an area and perimeter melon patch, and participating in a school-wide composting challenge. All STEM challenges are guided by the Engineering Design Process.

Preschool

  • Growing a pizza garden
  • Planting spring watermelons
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Kindergarten


  • Monarch butterfly hatching and tagging
  • Fall - design and build a sunflower and wildflower playground tunnel
  • Spring - planting pumpkin seeds to predict and measure growth of leaf, stem and flowers
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

First Grade

  • Chicken hatching
  • Planting corn to measure and chart growth
  • Fall -harvest of Pumpkins with counting, graphing and measuring the pumpkin patch
  • Spring – Designing a salad garden
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Second Grade

  • Animal care research and growing systems projects
  • Planting of potatoes
  • Fall harvest of popcorn utilizing estimation, rounding and fraction skills in the drying and popping process
  • TomatoSphere program with seventh grade
  • Chicken egg selling business with introduction to the concepts of loans, community tax, income and expenditures, savings and donations to charity
  • K’nex building challenges to support understanding in volume, weight, capacity, distance and simple machines
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Third Grade

  • Student-constructed rain barrel drip irrigation system
  • Blueberry patch research, planting, and harvesting
  • K’nex building challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Fourth Grade

  • Tapping sugar maple trees and turning sap into maple syrup
  • Planting a Tennessee history garden
  • K’nex building challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Fifth Grade

  • Constructing a hydroponic window farm system
  • Designing a butterfly and Tennessee species garden
  • K’nex building challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Sixth Grade

  • Designing and creating planetarium shows and geodesic domes
  • Hydroponic experiments growing cucumber and strawberries in nutrient water versus traditional soil comparisons
  • K’nex building challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Seventh Grade

  • Designing and creating sustainable aquaponics system
  • Studying rabbit genetics
  • Composting bin construction with eighth grade
  • TomatoSphere program with second grade
  • K’nex building challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations

Eighth Grade

  • Creating combustion rockets
  • Building an inverted garden
  • Composting bin construction with seventh grade
  • K’nex STEM building challenges
  • Rigamagig STEM building challenges
  • School-wide composting challenges
  • Outdoor garden observations and investigations
  • Sheep to yarn- sheering wool, carding, dying and spinning
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