It’s Full STEAM Ahead All Week at LCE

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Parent volunteer Amy Nespor, who spearheaded STEAM Week for a second year at
La Cañada Elementary School, helps students study microscopic images during lunch Monday.

This week at La Cañada Elementary School, lunch recess is for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. You know — playtime!
For the second year, LCE is celebrating STEAM Week. Each day, students can gravitate to the Science Center on the northeast corner of the playground to engage in a range of hands-on activities, such as Monday’s microscopic samples.
In the shade of the center, students took turns hunching over microscopes, peering down at slides featuring animal, plant, insect and flower parts.
“My favorite,” said Sarah Morillo, a 1st-grader, “was the pigeon feather. I liked it because it looked kind of weird!”
Raphael Vayng, a 3rd-grader, said this was only the second time he had an opportunity to use a microscope — and he was loving it.
“I haven’t seen through a microscope for a long time,” said the 3rd-grader, describing details of the goldfish skin he was looking at. “It’s like a ridge, a pattern, and it’s red, not golden.”
With help from the PTA’s STEM fund, parent volunteer Amy Nespor designed STEAM week and Saturday’s district-wide Maker Faire that it’s leading up to.
On Tuesday, she put the “T” in STEAM with technology, with LCE students experimenting with copper tape and circuits. On Wednesday, it was “E” for engineering, when students built towers with post-its. On Thursday, the focus is scheduled to be on art — “A” — with students creating posters of comets. On Friday, the plan is “M” for math, with an open invitation for kids to play math games.
“I just wanted to find a way to bring in more hands-on science to all the kids,” Nespor said. “We do an art appreciation week every year at the Science Center, so I thought we should use the Science Center for science!”
Saturday’s Maker Faire — La Cañada Unified School District’s second annual — will be run primarily by students who, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., will host a festival for anyone interested in STEAM. The free event, open to the public, will showcase “makers” from each of the district’s elementary schools and La Cañada High School.
There also will be a range of opportunities to experiment with cooking, sewing, engineering, tinkering and science. There will be telescopes and stomp rockets, soap- and safe slime-making, and a giant chessboard.
Mathnasium will send representatives, Jet Propulsion Laboratory will send a rover and the YMCA’s STEAM truck will roll onto campus, along with a food truck.
“It’s all a lot of fun,” said Amy Chen, one of a handful of parent volunteers helping kids peering into microscopes Monday. “Fun for the parents and the kids.”

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
La Cañada Elementary School students spent time hanging out at the Science Center on Monday to experiment with microscopes set up as a part of STEAM Week on campus.

Leave a Reply