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    Camelback High School Students Mentoring SV 5th Graders

    Our community spotlight this month has a slightly different focus than previous community partner highlights. Through our STEM connections in the community, we have partnered up with Camelback High School student engineers to embark on an incredible collaborative project - The Sierra Verde Simple Machines Art Garden.

    Mrs. Anderson's 5th grade science students were given the task of creating a simple machine model with household items that had a practical function.  Students created simple machines using the following elements:   a wedge, a pulley, a wheel and axle, a screw, a lever, and an inclined plane. One hundred and twenty incredible inventions were submitted by our students and 7 were selected to go into "production". Mrs. Andersen said, "The creativity and engineering that went into these models was an impressive STEM achievement by our students and shows that the kids understand how to apply what they learn into practical real world uses."

    Camelback High School Engineering Teacher, Arnie Edwards, then gathered his 10th, 11th, and 12th grade engineering class students to review the models and assign teams to fabricate the 5th grade selected concepts into durable materials that can withstand outdoor display in our Arizona weather. His students showcased their 3D printer, plasma cutter, solar and welding capabilities to our staff. Mr. Edwards said, "Camelback High School students will take the 5th grade designs and interpret them into long lasting interactive models to be showcased outdoors." Mr. Edwards students said
    repeatedly as they were reviewing the models, "A ten year old designed this??!! Wow."

    Last month, the high school fabrication teams met with the seven selected 5th grade designers via Skype. The kids set up the communication lines to proceed on their projects and asked production questions. We hope to present all 7 of these simple machines, achieved by teams that span school districts and age groups--but have STEM goals in common, at STEM Night on April 14th at 5:00 pm in our new Outdoor Simple Machines Art Garden. Come meet the student teams!

    Dr. Tsenuis said, "This year's 'Outdoor STEM Academy' project has many moving parts, which allows our students to learn how to integrate, innovate and inquire to achieve their goals. By including 8th grade Language Arts student’s to research, write and submit grants,  7th and 8th grade art students to design the architectural space, and 5th grade science students to design the simple machines, we have a school wide project that exemplifies what we teach at Sierra Verde STEM Academy. With the addition of Camelback high schoolers fabricating the models, these students have created the best of community partnerships."