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Hartselle Enquirer

Barkley Bridge students excel with STEM

Interim Barkley Bridge Principal Tina Towers (left) discusses with fourth grader Chandler Keel about his recent station completion of an STEM Ozobot. Also pictured is librarian Jamie Dutton. | Lauren Estes
Interim Barkley Bridge Principal Tina Towers (left) discusses with fourth grader Chandler Keel about his recent station completion of an STEM Ozobot. Also pictured is librarian Jamie Dutton. | Lauren Estes

Lauren Estes

Hartselle Enquirer

Students at Barkley Bridge Elementary School participated in many activities involving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Fri., Jan. 27, as they are one of the few local STEM schools.

Interim Barkley Bridge Principal Tina Towers said a librarian from Brookwood School made the drive to Barkley Bridge to see the activities the kids are involved with so they can too can find out about the program to help better the students learning.

“The kids can come into the library and have different stations to work on,” Towers said. “The Little Bots kits are neat because you can always learn something new with them. The kids really enjoy the activities with STEM.”

Fourth grader Chandler Keel said he enjoys participating in the STEM activities because they are both difficult and fun.

“It’s kind of challenging because with what I’m doing, you have to program the robot to roll on the lines and it can be hard to do,” Keel said. “I think it’s really fun though. I really like the Ozobots.”

Towers and Barkley Bridge Librarian Jamie Dutton said they are trying to increase their involvement in the STEM program for the school.

“We’re trying to become a “STEAM” school which involves adding the ‘A’ for Art to the regime,” Towers said. “A lot of the products we get are the gizmo’s and gadgets to work on for the engineering and math side, but we want to include art in on the projects.”

Dutton said when students come in for their library time, they are able to select their space and pick which station they want to work on which includes a specific STEM activity.

“They actually already sent some things that have to do with artwork as were gearing toward the STEAM instead of STEM,” Dutton said. “With one game, they had to cut out and make a guitar out of cardboard that goes with the musical sounds they make on one of the kits. Each station has something different to work on and the kids can participate and learn how to operate electric builders or the little bots kits with the Ipads.

Barkley Bridge P.E. teacher Tisha Bates said she picked up the STEM activity game in a P.E. workshop last November and has since used it several time sin her class to combine learning with physical activity.

“The kids roll the dice with the game, and pick a card based on the color scheme that they are following,” Bates said. “The card will ask them different questions about whatever subject their color scheme is and they will be able to pick from several answers. It will also tell them an exercise to do. It’s a really neat thing because they’re able to get their daily exercise in, but also learn information at the same time. STEM has worked great for us.”

Anna Alford is a nine-year-old third grader and was selected as a leader on their team in STEM P.E. class on Friday. 

“I really like playing the STEM games and doing the exercises,’ she said.“It’s fun and the others like it too.’

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