Boyne Falls MiSTEM Mini-Grants
Boyne Falls Public School received many Hands’-On Math & Science Manipulatives through Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Network’s 2019-2020 Mini-Grants. Fourth- and fifth-grade teachers, Nancy Wind and Kathleen Powers, partnered with Judy Falk, BFPS Math Consultant, and David Wind, IT professional, to purchase, plan, and implement the manipulatives.
COVID-19 protocols and school closures in the spring and fall of 2020 changed our initial plans for the use of these tools, however, we have found safe procedures for students to engage and learn with them, following safe use procedures as we continue to clean, disinfect, and distance. Manipulatives such as Jumbo Magnetic Exploragons, Pattern Blocks, 3D Cube Models, GeoModel Mini Solids, and Folding Shapes are used during math and 3D printing in STEM. While learning about fractions, students are using Fraction Circles and Squares, Fraction Pattern Blocks, Fraction Tiles, and Fraction Stax manipulatives purchased with grant funds.
“These grants have allowed us to give our students a myriad of hands-on manipulatives and access to current STEM tools to be designers and engineers,” said 4th – grade teacher Nancy Wind.
Another MiSTEM Network Mini Grant funded an Original Prusa Mini 3D Printer and laptop. Fourth- and fifth-grade students learned to use Tinkercad, a free app to design in 3D, and have used the printer to print their designs. Mr. Wind helped make instructional videos to teach students how to use the printer, which were shared with online and face-to-face learners. He also built a plexiglass table enclosure to keep the daily cleaning moisture off the plastic, which was causing it to break.
If you would like to explore the MiSTEM Network Classroom Mini-Grants for your classroom please check it out here. If you are a community partner looking to get engaged to give students within our region an experience like this one please contact Drea Weiner, Regional Director.