FMECC Stem Week

In one of many collaborative projects around the city during STEM Week, Westfield High School science teacher Jon Tyler brought his AP Environmental Science and chemistry students to Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center on Oct. 20 to set up hands-on stations for the children, and to talk about the science behind the projects.

Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski and Christopher Rogers, supervisor of student interventions and safety, broadcast “Superintendent’s Spotlight” live from the stage of the gymnasium, highlighting the activities in the room and speaking to Fort Meadow Principal Jonathan Scagel, WHS Principal Charles Jendrysik, Lauren Cadigan, supervisor of science, technology and engineering for Westfield schools, and Kate Perez, supervisor of math. STEM is an educational focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

At Station 1 on the floor of the gym, “Pumpkin Sensory Bags,” the guts of a pumpkin were put into plastic bags for the students to examine with magnifying glasses and touch and squish. The pumpkin was also on display to look inside, with high school students Hannah Shear, Elyse Eidinger and Kasia Slowik talking to the children about the seeds and the pumpkin flesh.

At Station 2, “Painted Leaves,” Fort Meadow students painted spring leaves and fall leaves on trees, while Milana Camilleri, Kelsey Bouchard, Ciara Toporowski and Daniella Ferreira talked about the changing seasons.

Both high school and preschool students at Station 3, “Mother Nature’s Collage” used sticks, leaves and acorns to create a collage, which high school students Wunnyuriti Hitchcock, Charlotte Bouyea and Andre Arkoette laminated their creations for the little ones to take home.

After hearing the story “Five Little Gourds,” preschoolers at Station 4 built a “fence” out of recycled materials for the gourds to sit on with the help of high school AP students John Doyle, Conner Gelinas and Ella Hamel.

At almost everybody’s favorite, Station 5, “Exploding Jack,” Zach Ellis, Rowan McDonad and Syriana Brown helped the three- and four-year-olds to spoon baking soda into a cup, before they dropped in food coloring and added vinegar to create an “explosion.” The joy on some of the little one’s faces was palpable.

At Station 6, Alyona Deutskaya and Melly Mokan set up the “Acorn Speedway,” for Fort Meadow students to drop acorns in tubes, which they could rearrange, to see how fast they would fall.

Westfield High School transition student Katelyn Flaherty, who works two days a week at Fort Meadow, accompanied her class of preschoolers to all of the stations.

High school students also set up stations at the Southampton Road full-day pilot preschool on the same day.

“Observing our high school students teaching our preschool students about STEM is one of the many highlights of STEM week in our schools. The level of student engagement is inspiring and exposing our preschool students to STEM at an early age will hopefully increase interest in STEM and STEM careers in the future,” Czaporowski said. #STEMWeek #AchievingExcellenceTogether