by Emily Kerr
Last week, middle school students from the Manchester School District English Learner (EL) Summer Program arrived at the STEM Discovery Lab to participate in the week-long Design Make Code summer program. With a focus on engineering, the program includes building structures, making and flying gliders, learning about wind turbines, making simple circuits, and coding. The program is a partnership between the STEM Discovery Lab and the Manchester School District.
“I just love this program because it’s very hands-on," said Manchester School District teacher Nicole Turner. "The kids are all engaged, and there are a lot of pictures being shown so they can relate what they are doing to real life. It’s very English Learner-friendly.”
“It’s fun,” was a common refrain heard from the students as they worked in partners to solve engineering challenges. Some of the challenges asked students to build the tallest structure possible using simple materials. Students were encouraged to collaborate, problem solve, and share their learning with each other.
“Finally, 31!” exclaimed a student who had redesigned her structure several times. Her tower measured 31 inches, one of the tallest built.
“What perseverance these kids are showing,” said Design Make Code instructor Michelle Miller on the first day of the program. “It makes me so glad the students are curious and trying ideas.”
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