Cornerstone Christian Academy celebrated STEM Day on Monday, Jan. 7, with a variety of out-of-the-box activities.
The first day of second semester started with a bang—a literal bang. Dr. Douglas Mulford, chemistry professor at Emory University, spoke with students about STEM career options that are available to chemistry majors. He conveyed his love of chemistry and reactions, with his favorite reaction — combustion, hence the bang. Students learned many fascinating things through demonstrations including how gases affect the speed at which vocal cords vibrate. Some gases such as hydrogen and helium raise the pitch of your voice by speeding the vibration and some like sulfur hexafluoride can slow down the vibration.
After time with Dr. Mulford, students moved into a problem-solving activity created and designed by math teacher, Terri Childers. The self-proclaimed world’s largest Clue board was unveiled and students were randomly sorted into 12 teams. Thirteen middle school teachers and staff were in costume ready to play their roles in the mystery: Renovation plans for the school had been stolen from Headmaster Creel’s locked office, and Mr. Creel suspected a disgruntled teacher that may not have been satisfied with the final plans. He sought the help of famed sleuths Holmes and Watson (played by Coach Faust and Mr. Whitlock) to solve the mystery and uncover the stolen plans hidden in a room at school.
Holmes challenged middle schoolers to play the life-sized game of Clue to solve the mystery as well with rotations involving math, science and logic questions to building catapults, flying cups and rockets. The more successful a group was in each rotation, the more points they earned. The points translated to moves on the board so that suggestions could be made.
Senora Robinson’s team earned the title of Super Sleuths by correctly accusing Miss West of breaking into the office with a bunsen burner and hiding the plans in the robotics lab.
Students moved through the day using STEM skills that included collaboration and critical thinking as they strategized, built and deduced. On a first day back from break that may have been characterized by bleary eyes, the students and teachers fed off of each other’s energy and intrigue which culminated in a memorable learning experience.