Being in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Evergreen School District remains competitive and innovative in the best interest of their students, building it's first two STEM labs in Silver Oak and Evergreen Elementary schools. From the short time the labs have been open, students, parents, and staff at both schools have provided a very positive response. Principal Steve Sweeney of Evergreen Elementary explains how his own daughter discovered an interest in science and how this was a gateway into understanding how impactful STEM can be. He states, "Through observing my daughter...I noticed a natural curiosity and questioning that developed by participating in scientific experiences that I wanted to replicate for more children." From the positive experience his own children had with STEM, when the district approached him to build one of the first STEM labs in Evergreen School District, he enthusiastically agreed.
Howard Greenfield, Principal of Silver Oak, had a different experience in which the District and the past principal had pushed for the lab, as he "inherited" the plan. Nevertheless, Principal Greenfield is particularly happy with the new lab, which launched last month, as it is in line with 21st century learning and the advanced environment Evergreen School district is in. At Silver Oak, 1st and 2nd grade students are engaging in introduction to coding with Ozobots and conductivity with Makey Makey's. 3rd and 4th grade students are engaging in Scratch Programming and Makey Makey introduction to conductivity workshops. Lastly, 5th and 6th grade students are learning in Computer Aided Design and 3D printing workshops. Principal Greenfield reflects, "...the lab will provide students the ability to learn robotics, coding, hands on science, along with opportunities to bring their ideas to life."
The effects of the STEM Labs at Evergreen and Silver Oak Elementary reach beyond the walls of the labs themselves. From these labs, students and teachers alike will practice the framework of scientific thinking enabling them to engage in curiosity, innovation, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creative thinking. These aspects gained from the STEM labs will be lucrative to all subjects in the way that students think about and approach problems. Principal Sweeney explains, "It will be a space in which students as well as adults will be asked to communicate their creative ideas in a collaborative setting. Students and staff will be provided opportunities to make presentations to their fellow classmates and get their feedback on their ideas."The STEM labs at Silver Oak and Evergreen open the door to a wide array of possibilities for students, in regards to their holistic being and experience in the Evergreen School District.