4-H Making a Positive Impact With STEM at Ansonville Elementary School
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— Written By Katy Haywood and last updated by Tabitha Barnesen Español
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Ansonville is a rural town located in Anson County, North Carolina. Within this town is Ansonville Elementary School, which is small, but mighty! Ansonville Elementary’s vision is stated as “A school where passion, commitment, and dedication inspire teaching and learning and our daily decisions are data-driven and student-centered.” AES takes this vision seriously and the impact of the amazing teaching and learning is felt by simply walking throughout the hallways.
With the help of the CYFAR STEM Grant, the 2nd-grade students incubate and hatch their own chicks through the 4-H Embryology curriculum with Ms. Jones and Mrs. Tucker while 3rd-grade students are using 4-H Soil Solutions curriculum to discover plant life cycles with Ms. Preslar.
AES’s 4th and 5th-grade science teacher, Mr. Justin Jones focuses his teaching on his students and their interests, specifically in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). From utilizing a greenhouse to creating with a 3-D printer, Mr. Jones’s students interact with the STEM Curriculum daily. He has provided his students with various opportunities and resources of high educational value, including a 4-H grade-level curriculum.
Due to his dedication to making science fun and relatable, the students within his classes (and within the school) have become quite interested in STEM-related fields.
Starting in August 2019, Mr. Jones, Katy Haywood (CYFAR STEM Coordinator), and Sam Cole (Anson County 4-H Agent) have created a regularly attended Robotics Afterschool Club and STEM Club.
The Robotics Club is open to students in 3rd-5th grade with approximately 20 members. The STEM Club, on the other hand, is exclusive to 5th graders in the school. Not only do the students work on coding, planning, and building, but they also increase their skills in team building, critical thinking, and work ethics all while interacting with Vex Robot kits!
Recently, the two clubs helped to successfully host a Science STEM Night for their entire school. Mr. Jones, volunteers, teachers, and students worked together to create “stations” located throughout the school including robots, slime, magnets, and 3-D printers. The students helped the teachers at AES prepare and organize the event and led some of the stations themselves.
Parents, students, siblings, community members, and district staff attended the event that had over 200 in attendance! Participants were provided with the opportunity to interact with STEM materials.
So, what’s next for the AES Robotics Club and AES STEM Club? After becoming familiar and practicing with the robots in their club, their next focus is on competitive robotics.
AES and their students will accomplish amazing goals and their future is blooming!