MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives are in place for math and science students at Pocantico Hills Central School in Mount Pleasant.
New initiatives include a MakerBot Replicator 3-D printer to help students in all grades develop problem-solving skills and techniques.
“The students learn the fundamentals of process and design using this printer,” said science teacher Vincent Cook, who wrote the STEM grant.
The printer runs on free Tinkercad software that allows students to design and create parts as needed for their projects, explained cook.
“Students are challenged with design problems that require a novel solution, and then they design, build and evaluate three-dimensional objects created in the printer. They continue to modify the design until the final goal and desired result is achieved.”
Among its uses, students in STEM classes will use the printer to create key chains to sell and raise funds to adopt a wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem.
The Weather Station is an initiative for seventh and eighth grade students, available through a grant also written by Cook, with materials for the base purchased through a Pocantico Hills PTA grant.
The equipment is used to record temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, rainfall and other weather data.
“Students benefit by having real world data at their disposal to reinforce the concepts being taught in class,” said Cook. “
Another STEM program by math teacher Lisa Levy involves starting a math club in February for students in seventh and eighth grades who "just can’t get enough math," she said.
“Some students have a real passion for math, and I want to encourage that interest."
“This is going to be a very informal, lunch-time club where students can drop in once a week and immerse themselves in math topics that they choose.”