Three years ago, the MDS administration added a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) elective option for seventh graders. Students enrolled in this class engage in a semester of challenging projects which include anything from designing and testing an egg-drop device, building suspension bridges from toothpicks, creating marble mazes, making rock candy and straw structures.
STEM class helps young learners practice a variety of problem solving skills so they can refine their thinking processes and ultimately create a better final project. The class was first taught by Mrs. Kari Alderman, MS division head, and Mr. Jeff Dadisman, former US teacher. Now, there is a new teacher in town! Mrs. Bentley has taught the class for the past two years and has put her own creative spin on the class.
The Advent semester cohort is focused on building structures which helps students learn concepts such as ratio, proportion, and challenges students to become true scientists. The class is currently in week 4 of making a scale model of real-world towers. Students work in groups and replicate the Twin Towers, Big Ben, a transmission tower, the Eiffel Tower, and Hearst Tower.
According to Mrs. Bentley, “This class sparks interest in STEM by using hands-on, fun challenges. It is a busy, productive class. Often the work is difficult and needs to be revised and repeated. Students recognize their own mistakes and confidently point them out to me and their classmates. They have learned to predict what will happen, think critically, and correct their own mistakes. The next generation of innovators will need all of the skills taught in STEM!”
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Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.