We have so many incredible experiences and opportunities that it was difficult to just pick a few! Here are some additional highlights of the incredible teachers, staff, families and community members that make Red Cedar Elementary stand out as a STEM school.
Every day as our students pass through the hallways, they’re able to observe our two Hydroponic Tower Gardens as they grow from seedlings to full grown plants. Hydroponic gardening requires less water and energy than traditional growing methods, and allows our students to observe and interact with the growing plants on a daily basis. Students have taken the lead in planting and maintaining the gardens, and the mobile gardens can be easily moved around the school as needed for all to be involved. One second grade student took a particular interest in the gardens and became our in-house expert! She began to make many connections from content to their observable garden. Here, she explains the basics of hydroponics to 1st grade students in conjunction with their learning unit on plants.
Master Naturalist Training
The Master Naturalist program is a 12-session course designed to educate people about the environment of the lowcountry and the rest of South Carolina. Through a grant, this valuable training has been made available to teachers in order to extend the learning to students. Teachers attend sessions on Saturdays, and complete the training as Certified Master Naturalists. Nine Red Cedar educators have completed the program, with several more engaged in the series at this time.
Annually, fifth grade students visit Starbase through the Department of Defense Youth Program hosted at The Mighty Eighth Museum in Savannah, GA. for an extended experience over the course of multiple days. Students are engaged in “hands-on, mind-on” experiments and activities using the Engineering Design Process to learn about Newton’s Law, nanotechnology, computer design and more. Teamwork is stressed as they work together to explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate concepts.
First Grade Gingerbread Bridge
After reading "The Gingerbread Man," students were tasked with building a bridge out of toothpicks and gumdrops. Students worked in groups to build a bridge at least 6 inches long which could withstand the weight of a gingerbread man for at least 20 seconds. Once they were able to do that, they were challenged to build an even longer bridge.
River of Words
The River of Words is a local environmental project which has a literacy component. Red Cedar 3rd grade students kicked off their River of Words experience by visiting a local oyster factory, where an environmentalist talked with them about local plant and animal life. When the students returned to school they were challenged to compose poetry and create visual artworks based on the knowledge they gathered during the trip. The student work was then submitted as part of a District wide contest. Winning entries are compiled into a printed book each year.