The new lab puts an emphasis on innovation in elementary education.
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Out-of-Door Academy opened a new STEM lab where fourth- and fifth-graders can take a hands-on approach to exploring technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Dart STEM Lab on the Siesta Key campus offers cutting-edge tools for today’s future innovators including an augmented reality system in which students can manipulate models of everything from the solar system to the human body.
The lab also features six customized stations where students can work in small groups to collaborate and build their designs. Students will also have access to three MakerBot 3D printers to make prototypes of their own inventions.
The academy’s focus on providing STEM-centered resources has already made an impact on the students’ education. Fifth-graders Sequoia Miller and Noah Knego took second place at the Sarasota County STEM Fair in January for their project the “Headphone Helper,” a product that keeps wires from headphones and other wired technology from becoming tangled. The prototype was created by using one of the 3D printers.
“Enhancing the educational opportunities available to our students is at the forefront of every decision we make,” Tanna Horner, Head of ODA's Lower School said in a statement. “Teaching our kids to actively engage in the sciences and engineering, and the learning that comes from those disciplines is critical to the needs of today’s learner.”