Growlers STEM Days

The Kalamazoo Growlers hosted two pre-game STEM Education events this spring organized by Kalamazoo RESA's Education for Employment team. Middle school students from southwest Michigan explored different STEM-centered booths from Stryker, AirZoo, Consumers Energy, and area high school robotics teams, to name a few. Representing REMC12W/SWMiTech, Tina Tribu, Jeremie Coplin, Keith Tramper, and Lorri Batsie demonstrated and guided student exploration of the following fun tech tools:

Dash Robot--drive a robot through a maze
Makey Makey--play a banana piano or play-doh Tetris using Scratch coding
Osmo Coding--create a code using physical blocks and an interactive iPad game
Osmo Newton--draw and manipulate objects to solve physics puzzles
Blockbuster Tumble Blocks--analyze which block to pull so as not to make the tower fall
Keva Block Brain Builders--convert 2D images into 3D structures

A young lady approached the Osmo Newton game, and after a try decided she was unable to complete the challenge. She seemed insecure, and when I suggested she try again, she initially resisted. On her second try, she beat the level! Prompted to say, “I am awesome,” she muttered the reaction somewhat unwillingly--but with a big grin on her face.

STEM activities, which we offer through our professional development, TinkerZoo tools, and coaching (check out our website for more info), open the door for students to grow in their confidence, even if at first they don’t succeed. Many of the lessons we teach and coach require several iterations before accomplishment. Iteration is a word for “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Educators should be encouraging this growth mindset in their students. There are few things as satisfying for a teacher and student than that breakthrough moment when a student who has been working diligently toward a goal finally reaches it. 

Look at the faces on these kids in the pictures. Engagement, growth, achievement.

Thanks to KRESA EFE and Stryker for the opportunity to serve SW Michigan kids at this awesome event!

And congratulations to the Growlers on their two wins!

Submitted by:
Tina Tribu
Kalamazoo RESA