In an English language arts lesson, Marisol B. introduced a research problem to her students: animals in different parts of the world are becoming extinct and cannot migrate. Their task? To create a device that can transport the animals safely from one terrain to the next so that they can mate and aren’t endangered anymore. Marisol assigned each group an animal and took them to the library where the librarian taught them how to research and find information. With new knowledge, students developed designs during the CORAL after-school program in preparation for the Tech Museum’s April Tech Challenge.
CORAL (Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning) is a K-8 expanded learning program that focuses on improving academic achievement through literacy and homework support; CORAL STEM focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math. Marisol, CORAL STEM site manager for Dahl Elementary School, implements creative lesson plans to prepare her students for the Tech Challenge. Hosted by the Tech Museum for Innovation, the academic competition presents an engineering challenge to fourth- through twelfth-graders to develop a solution to a real-world problem.
This year’s challenge was to design a remote-controlled device that will cross over a gap that is 18 inches wide, and then a second gap that has an incline, all within four minutes. Groups of fourth and fifth graders from the CORAL STEM program presented their final device designs on Saturday, April 29, to a cheering audience that applauded their creativity.
To learn more about Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County’s CORAL STEM program, please visit http://catholiccharitiesscc.org/coral-after-school-program.